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Catalonia suspend plan for ballot on secession

Catalonia’s regional government on Tuesday suspended its campaign for a planned independence vote in accordance with a rulingissued a day earlier by Spain’s Constitutional Court.

But the regional government said it would appeal the court order to suspend the vote preparations and insisted that the ruling had not ended its plans for a ballot to determine whether Catalonia’s 7.5 million citizens would secede from the rest of Spain.

The suspension of the Catalan secession campaign came 12 days after voters in Scotland rejected independence from Britain, through a referendum authorized by the British government in London. The fight over Catalonia’s future is proving more contentious and has turned into the biggest political challenge for Mariano Rajoy, Spain’s prime minister, since he took office in late 2011. Mr. Rajoy has vowed to prevent a secession vote, scheduled for Nov. 9, saying it would violate Spain’s Constitution.

Francesc Homs, the spokesman for Catalonia’s regional government, said on Tuesday that the suspension of the campaign was “precautionary,” to ensure that civil servants were not disciplined for helping to prepare a vote that may be illegal. The court has five months to issue a ruling, but the Catalan government said it hoped for a much faster resolution.

Source: The New York Times

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