06:27 GMT +321 August 2019
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    Carles Puigdemont (C) adjusts his jacket during the investiture session at the Catalunya Parliament in Barcelona, Spain, January 10, 2016

    Catalan Leader Speaks Amid Political Crisis (VIDEO)

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    Carles Puigdemont has delivered a speech as the Spanish government has opted for suspending Catalonia's autonomy.

    Carles Puigdemont said Thursday he would not be calling a snap election in the region.

    Earlier in the day local media reported that Catalan authorities were mulling calling a regional election on December 20.

    "In the last few hours I considered the possibility of calling for regional elections… I considered calling for regional elections in a normal way with guarantees, but there are no guarantees. Nothing justifies a call for a regional election today," Puigdemont said in a statement, as broadcast and translated by Euronews.

    Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy activated the Constitution's Article 155, which would freeze Catalonia's autonomy, on Saturday; the Senate is expected to approve it on Friday. On October 1 Catalonia held an independence referendum, with some 90 percent of voters preferring soveregnty. Madrid considered the vote illegal. The Catalan government said the region deserved independence but has not declared it yet.

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    Carles Puigdemont, Catalonia, Barcelona, Spain
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