>> A victory for Catalan separatist, a bloody nose for Madrid. Secessionist parties won a slim majority late Thursday in an election Madrid called to try to end a political crises. But that has instead likely to prolong it. For a start, Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont looks set to return to power.
But he's in self imposed exile and risks arrest if he sets foot in Spain.>> The prisoners must leave the prison right away. And the legitimate government must return right away to the Generalitat Palace, which is our home, where our citizens want us to be.>> As Regional President, Puigdemont called an October referendum that the seperatists won.
He then declared independence. That prompted a fierce crack down by Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy who sacked his government and imposed direct rule from Madrid on what had been an autonomous region, and the crisis has deepened divisions. The largest chair of the vote in Thursday's poll went to the unionist citizens' party.
To take power then, three secessionist parties will need to form a coalition. But two have shown reluctance to put Puidgdemont back at the helm. And Puidgdemont former deputy Oriol Junqueras is among several Catalan politicians in jail. So even as separatist alliance won't be plain sailing.