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SOVEREIGNTY STRUGGLE

Mas and Duran at odds over independence vote petition

Unió leader calls for secession document to be redrawn “from scratch” in bid to generate greater consensus

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The petition distributed late last week by the governing CiU coalition, calling for a vote on Catalonia’s secession from Spain, has caused a political maelstrom in the region and divided even nationalists as to the worth of the document.

Josep Antoni Duran Lleida, leader of the Unió (UDC) faction of the coalition, warned his political partner on Monday: “If you want to move quickly, move alone. But if you want to go far, go in company.” The veteran Unió leader moved away from the party line and called for the document — which says that “Parliament agrees to declare democratic, political and legal sovereignty to the people of Catalonia by initiating a process so that they can decide by their right to vote” — be started again from scratch.

As expressed by UDC spokeswoman Marta Llorens in the regional assembly, Duran’s group believes it would be prescient to postpone a declaration on sovereignty until the Socialists and the leftist Iniciativa (ICV) are both on board. ICV said that the process so far has been “uncoordinated and lacking dialogue.”

CiU’s parliamentary partner, ERC, refused to backtrack. “I don’t see the need to start the text again because it already has the backing of a majority in parliament,” ERC leader Oriol Junqueras told state television. The Catalan Socialists declared their support for Catalans to “freely decide on a substantial change in Spain-Catalonia relations,” but only within the legal framework of the land. At a national level, the Socialists are seeking changes to the Constitution to move toward a federal state with improved financial conditions for Catalonia.

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