Catalonia’s President Wins Votes, but Loses Seats in Parliament - First exit Poll

Exit polls show that Catalan president Artur Mas received a majority of votes and will maintain his coalition government. His win may lead to a referendum on Catalan independence, as Mas says separatism could cure the country's financial problems.

Mas will now likely push forward with a promised referendum on independence from Spain, which he and his supporters see as a way to drag Catalonia out of a worsening financial crisis.

But to make this referendum possible, Mas will now have to cooperate with smaller pro-independence parties such as the Republican Left, or the ERC.

One of the obstacles pro-referendum supporters may face is that Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy might use the country's constitution to block a referendum, as Spain’s governing document prohibits any kind of regional referendum without approval from the central government.
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