Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said Saturday that his government was seeking to remove the leaders of Catalonia’s regional government from power and call new elections as soon as possible. The unprecedented measures — intended to end Catalan leaders’ independence bid — would be taken under Article 155 of the Spanish constitution and must be sent to the Spanish Senate for approval. This would happen within the next week, Rajoy said.
The Madrid government announced Thursday that it would invoke Article 155, a provision that allows the central government to suspend the autonomy of the Catalan regional administration.
The move follows weeks of division triggered by a banned independence referendum on October 1. On Thursday, Catalan President Carles Puigdemont threatened that the wealthy northeastern region could formally declare independence if the Spanish government did not engage in dialogue.