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Report: Catalan separatists win majority in regional elections

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Report: Catalan separatists win majority in regional elections

Separatist in Catalonia appeared to be on track to maintain their majority in a parliamentary election but the pro-Spain Citizens party will likely be the biggest single winner, BBC News reported.

With 95% of the vote counted, the Citizens were expected to win 37 seats in the 135-member legislative body. But three pro-independence parties are likely to hold 70 seats, according to the BBC. The party of Carles Puigdemont, who was ousted after an illegal independence referendum earlier this year, was on track to win the largest number of seats among the separatists.

The referendum's backers claimed that voters overwhelmingly chose independence, but less than half of eligible citizens participated. Madrid's efforts to prevent Catalonia's secession led to civil unrest and the dissolution of the region's government.

The crisis in Catalonia has raised concerns about the effect unrest might have on Spain's economy. Uncertainty over the region's status has led hundreds of businesses to relocate elsewhere in Spain.