Madrid – The Spanish Constitutional Court on Wednesday annulled the unilateral declaration of independence of Catalonia adopted on 27 October by the regional parliament, announced a spokesperson.

“The declaration of independence of 27 October was declared void and unconstitutional,”she said at the end of the sitting at which the Court’s magistrates handed down the ruling.

The Court has systematically annulled the resolutions and votes of the Catalan Parliament aimed at leading the region towards unilateral secession.

In particular, it banned the holding of a referendum on self-determination in this region where 16% of the Spanish live, considering that it is up to all the Spanish people to express their views on issues relating to national sovereignty.

But the independentists, unaware of his arrests, went ahead with the elections on 1 October.

Then, estimating that they had won with 90% of the votes and a turnout of 43%, they voted on 27 October for the creation in Catalonia of an “independent state in the form of a republic”, an unprecedented breakthrough in Spain.

The resolution was adopted by 70 votes in favour, 10 against and two abstentions, in the absence of a majority of the opposition members who had left the Chamber.

The separatist parties – from the far left to the centre-right – held a majority (72 out of 135) in parliament.

A few hours later, Mariano Rajoy’s Conservative government obtained permission from the Senate to trigger Article 155 of the Constitution – never before applied – which allowed it to de facto suspend the autonomy of the region. He then dissolved the Catalan parliament and called regional elections for 21 December.