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    In this Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2014 file photo, Catalonia's regional president Artur Mas gestures during a press conference at the Generalitat Palace in Barcelona, Spain. Catalonia's acting regional president has been placed under investigation by a court for his role in staging a referendum on independence last year, officials said Tuesday Sept 29, 2015

    Catalan Leader Says 2014 Referendum on Independence in Line With Law

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    Catalan President Artur Mas said that the local elections of September 27 became a democratic guarantee of last year’s November 9 informal referendum on Catalonia's independence.

    MADRID (Sputnik) — Catalan President Artur Mas said Wednesday he did not believe that he had broken the law by conducting a referendum on the region's independence from Spain last year, which was later judged to be unconstitutional.

    On Tuesday, Mas was summoned by Catalonia’s high court to answer accusations of civil disobedience and abuse of power by organizing the unofficial November 9 vote, in which 80 percent of participants supported seceding from Spain. Madrid claims Catalan secession is unconstitutional.

    "From a political point of view it was a democratic rebellion," Mas told Catalunya Rаdio.

    Two pro-independence factions secured a majority in the Catalan parliament in local parliamentary elections that saw over 77 percent of the population vote on Sunday.

    "The elections of September 27 became a democratic guarantee of last year’s November 9 [informal referendum]. The lawsuits over November 9 were rejected by the mass participation [in the elections] on September 27 from a political point of view. The people approved of November 9 and told the government to stop being arrogant and ludicrous," Mas said.

    Catalonia has long sought independence from Spain, accusing Madrid of constraining its economic and cultural autonomy.


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