Catalunya’s ousted president, Carles Puigdemont, has declared that the Spanish state has been defeated in a regional election ordered by the Madrid government.
The result was a major embarrassment for Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s Partido Popular as it won only three seats, down from 11 in the previous assembly.
The turnout was a record 81 percent, and speaking in Brussels where he is in self-imposed exile, Puigdemont hailed the result as a victory for the “Catalan republic”.
Separatist parties will hold a slim, reduced, majority in the new assembly.
However the centrist Ciudadanos party, which wants Catalunya to stay as part of Spain, became the largest single party.
The Madrid government imposed direct rule on Catalunya and called the regional election after declaring an October independence referendum illegal.
Mariano Rajoy had hoped the poll would restore stability but instead Spain’s political turmoil looks set to continue