Catalonia's parliament votes to hold independence referendum on Oct. 1

Catalonia's parliament votes to hold independence referendum on Oct. 1

Lawmakers are confident the orders will be accepted due to pro-independence parties having a majority representation in the regional parliament, Reuters reported.

The Catalan government late Thursday passed a controversial referendum bill, which aims to guarantee an independence referendum for the northeastern region of Spain in the forthcoming weeks, despite the fact that the Spanish government and courts consider it to be illegal.

The government yesterday said it had asked the Spanish constitutional court to declare the referendum law void as soon as it is approved by the regional Parliament.

Ten hours into a tense plenary session, Catalan lawmakers are still holding a heated debate on a controversial bill that lays the groundwork for an october 1 referendum on independence from Spain. Click any of these buttons below!

Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría condemned the Catalan leadership for carrying out "an act of force" and for acting more like "dictatorial regimes than a democracy".

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Mas is the highest-ranking among Catalan politicians suspended from office and fined by the country's Supreme Court for organizing a non-binding vote on independence in 2014.

"What we have lived today in Catalonia is the trampling of democracy, the trampling of Catalans, the trampling of political decency", she added during a hastily called press conference.

Tensions are running high among Catalan lawmakers as the regional parliament chose to vote on a bill that lays the ground for a controversial referendum on independence from Spain. "They [the supporters of Catalonia's independence] have demonstrated that they do not respect either Catalonia or the Catalans", Santamaria said.

But a referendum in defiance of Spain's rule of law, without the blessing of central authorities, has inflamed controversy.

The vote on the bill is expected later Wednesday.

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The bill was submitted to the parliament outside of its normal schedule which prompted criticism from opposition parties. The opposition argues that the bill should be first vetted by a legal committee because it clashes with Spain's constitutional laws.

The so-called referendum bill was included at the last minute in the agenda of Wednesday's plenary meeting of the regional parliament, and is likely to be passed by a pro-independence majority later in the day, paving the way to formalize plans for the ballot.

In a show of political unity at the national level, the leaders of the Socialists and the business-friendly Ciudadanos party held conversations with Rajoy on Wednesday.

The majority of the court's judges have been nominated by lawmakers from Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy's conservative Popular Party.

The union's President explained how the Blaugrana would not be forced out of La Liga should the region split off from Spain, contradicting claims previously made by the League's chief, Javier Tebas.

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