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ELECTIONS IN CATALONIA

Catalan Republican Left says no to government coalition with Mas

Second-biggest force in regional parliament will help CiU leader stay in power as long as referendum plan remains on track

The Catalan Republican Left (ERC), which emerged as the second political force in the region after last Sunday’s elections, says it does not want to form a coalition government with acting Generalitat leader Artur Mas’ right-leaning CiU nationalist bloc, but has offered to provide it with parliamentary stability.

ERC leader Oriol Junqueras met formally with Mas for the first time Wednesday lunchtime after the pair had shared a phone conversation the previous day. According to ERC sources, Junqueras communicated his willingness to enable the investiture of the CiU leader as regional premier and the setting up of the new government.

However, he preferred to remain on the outside and play a part as a “responsible opposition.” The ERC says it is willing to work with CiU as long as it openly commits to holding a referendum on Catalan independence.

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