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Catalans begin voting in important elections in Spanish politics

Catalans begin voting in important elections in Spanish politics

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez supports the candidate of the Catalan Socialists Party, Salvador Illa, who is favored in opinion polls.| Photo: EFE/EPA/Olivier Houslet

Polling stations opened their doors on Sunday (12) in Catalonia, where approximately 5.7 million voters are eligible to participate in the elections in this important region in Spanish politics.

The 2,695 voting locations opened at 9am (local time, 4am Brasilia) to start the voting day until 8pm (local time, 3pm Brasilia). The elections decide the 135 seats in the Catalan Parliament in the next legislative council, which elects the head of the regional government.

Among the new features of the elections is the use of artificial intelligence in polling stations to speed up the process of transmitting the vote count.

Opinion polls indicate that some agreements have been reached to be able to govern, with dropped votes putting the Socialist Party in first place, but without a sufficient majority, followed by the independents from the Juntos Bela Catalunya Party (JxCaT) and the Republican Left of Catalonia. (ERC) that governs the region until now.

JxCaT is the party of Carles Puigdemont, who headed the Catalan government when the illegal unilateral declaration of independence occurred in 2017, after which he fled Spanish justice and is now in France.

Opinion polls have put behind her the right-wing Vox party, the Popular Union candidate party, the liberal Ciudadanos party, which could be excluded from the regional parliament, and the conservative Popular Party.

The outcome will affect Spanish politics, because the head of the Spanish government, socialist Pedro Sanchez, needs Catalan independents represented in the national parliament to govern the country.

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Sánchez was re-elected president in 2023 thanks to parliamentary agreements, in particular those concluded with Catalan sovereignty advocates. (with EFE agency)

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