Former Catalan leader Puigdemont seen regaining regional leadership

The separatist parties were seen getting a total of 70 seats in the 135-seat assembly, official data with 76 percent of the votes counted showed.

Ousted Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont. Picture: @catalangov/Twitter.

MADRID - Catalonia’s separatist leader Carles Puigdemont was on track to regain the leadership of Spain’s north-eastern region after preliminary results showed a coalition of secessionist parties winning a majority in regional elections.

Puigdemont went on self-imposed exile in Brussels in October after conservative Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy sacked his regional government when they organised an illegal independence referendum and later proclaimed a Catalan republic.

The separatist parties were seen getting a total of 70 seats in the 135-seat assembly, official data with 76% of the votes counted showed.

Puigdemont’s Junts per Catalunya (Together for Catalonia) were seen winning 34 of those seats, ahead of two other separatist parties.

Final results are expected after midnight.