Catalonia’s Parliament has passed a resolution to begin the process of seceding from Spain.
The initiative was backed by 72 out of 135 votes and the region plans to establish autonomous rule by 2017.
Catalonia Parlament approves the beginning of independence process; The parlament approves disconnection to Spain pic.twitter.com/eAH8lUmTlL
— Mauricio Carrillo (@MCarrilloFX) November 9, 2015
The declaration on secession, which launches a so-called roadmap towards independence, was backed by a majority in the regional parliament. The motion was passed by 72 votes to 63, AP reported.
The vote was proposed by Catalan pro-independence parties, which won the local parliamentary election in September this year. They hope it will lead to the northeastern region seceding from Spain within 18 months.
The parties voted on a resolution which calls for legislation within 30 days to start a social security and treasury system separate from Spain. The resolution is backed by Catalan Junts pel Si (Together for Yes) and Popular Unity Candidacy (CUP) parties.
The resolution, submitted by Catalan pro-independence parties back in October, states that the “democratic mandate based on the result of the elections held on September 27, is aimed at creation of independent and sovereign Catalan state…”
It also declares the beginning of the state creation process and calls for an “open, inclusive and active constituent civil process aimed at building a foundation for the future Catalan constitution.”
However, Madrid authorities have warned that Spain’s government will go straight to the Constitutional Court within a week if the vote succeeds.
“If on Monday [the resolution] is approved… we will immediately go to court,” Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaria said, as cited by AFP. She added that Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy would also gather for emergency talks.
Rajoy has repeatedly said independence referendums as well as other secessionist steps are unconstitutional and therefore are illegal.