Mixed message in Catalonian vote


Published Nov 26, 2012 at 04:00AM / Updated Nov 19, 2013 at 12:31AM

BARCELONA, Spain — Voters in Catalonia delivered victory to separatist parties in a regional election on Sunday, raising the likelihood that Spain’s most powerful economic region will hold an independence referendum that Madrid has vowed to block.

But even as voters set up a fight with the central government by rewarding the independence cause, they delivered no clear message about who should lead it. Convergencia i Unio, the party of Artur Mas, the Catalan president who called the election two years ahead of schedule, actually lost seats in the regional parliament. The party fell to just 50 seats in the 135-seat body, from 62 in the last vote.