Spain’s Constitutional Court has suspended a session of the Catalan parliament scheduled for Monday in which local leaders were expected to declare Catalonia’s unilateral independence from Spain.
The ruling followed a legal challenge by the Catalan Socialist Party, which opposes secession, according to El Pais newspaper.
Lawyers for the regional parliament had also warned that the session would be illegal because it discusses results of a referendum over the weekend that had been previously suspended by the constitutional court. Sunday’s independence referendum has sparked a major political crisis in Spain.
Organisers of the referendum put the turnout at 42 per cent, with 2.2 million people taking part. They say 90 per cent voted for independence, however they have not published final results.
Spain’s prime minister, meanwhile, urged the separatist leader of the regional Catalan government to cancel plans for declaring independence to avoid “greater evils”.
In an interview with Spain’s EFE news agency, Mariano Rajoy said the solution in Catalonia “is the prompt return to legality and the affirmation, as early as possible, that there will be no unilateral declaration of independence, because that way greater evils will be avoided”.
Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont has indicated the region will formally declare independence.