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Catalonia suspends formal campaign on Spain independence vote

REUTERS

Catalonia’s regional government said on Tuesday it would temporarily suspend campaigning for a vote on independence from Spain, after Madrid filed a legal block to the referendum.

Spain’s central government argues that the vote, called by Catalan leader Artur Mas for Nov. 9, would breach the country’s rule of law because it would be held in Catalonia alone, rather than in the whole of Spain.

The Constitutional Court suspended the planned referendum on Monday after the government filed its legal appeal, a move that Catalonian officials want to overturn.

The legal suspension of Catalonia’s plans had been expected for months, although Mas defied Madrid by calling the vote anyway, and is still pushing for ways for it to go ahead.

With official campaigning halted for now, secessionist grass-roots movements, which have swelled in recent years in the wealthy northeastern region and set the political agenda there, are likely to take center stage.

Some pro-independence campaigners want politicians to try to hold the nonbinding vote in November regardless of its legality.

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