Separatists in Catalonia claimed victory Sunday in a regional election that they have vowed will lead to them declaring the region independent from Spain.
"We have won," said Catalan nationalist leader president Artur Mas before a crowd of supporters yelling and waving flags at an open-air rally in Barcelona on Sunday.
With more than 90% of the votes counted, the main separatist alliance and a smaller party won 72 seats in the 135-seat regional parliament.
With nearly 94% of the votes counted, the "Junts per Si" ("Together for Yes") won 62 seats, while the far-left separatist CUP party is expected to secure 10 mandates.
Together For Yes has vowed to declare independence by 2017 if it secures a majority in the parliament. The central government in Madrid has pledged to block such moves in court.
The vote may also influence the course of the Spanish general election in December.
SOURCE: TOE and agencies