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Spain’s governing Socialist Party has won Catalonia’s regional parliamentary elections

Spain’s governing Socialist Party has won Catalonia’s regional parliamentary elections, breaking the majority enjoyed by pro-independence parties for more than a decade.

With the vote count all but finished late on Sunday, it was announced that the Socialists had won 42 of the 135 seats in the regional parliament. The victory represents a vindication of Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez’s bid to normalise relations with the restive region.

Sanchez’s controversial policy has included handing out pardons for convictions over the failed breakaway bid in 2017, led by Carles Puigdemont, who is currently in self-imposed exile in France.

Puigdemont’s Junts party came second with 35 seats. Fellow separatist party Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya (ERC) will have 20 seats, 13 less than in the last parliament.

Combined, the four separatist parties competing took just 61 seats combined, leaving the independence movement with no chance of retaining their absolute majority. The turnout for the vote was notably low at 58 percent.

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