After a very long, difficult day, the plenary assembly of the Catalan parliament has managed to approve this evening the Referendum Law. The bill passed with the 72 votes of JxSí and CUP (Together for Yes and Popular Unity Candidacy) and the abstention of the 11 deputies of CSQP (Catalonia Yes We Can), whilst C's (Citizens), PSC (Socialists' Party of Catalonia) and PP (Popular Party) abandoned the chamber when it came to voting. The approval followed an almost twelve-hour marathon day of what is known in parliamentary language as filibustering, the usage of all the mechanisms offered by the rules to slow the debate. All the time, watching the moves and political response from Madrid.
The Board of the Parliament accepted the bill for consideration in a meeting at nine this morning before the plenary assembly. At quarter past ten, before starting the usual session controlled by the government, JxSí has asked for the proposal to be added to the day's agenda. This let loose an avalanche of responses from the opposition parties forcing the plenary assembly to be interrupted as many as five times for meetings of the Parliament's Board and Board of Spokespeople, as well as an hour for lunch which the Board tried to avoid. Finally, the debate on the bill was able to start at half past seven in the evening.
The opposition parties took part in the debate, when the vote started, the deputies of Cs, PP and PSC left the chamber. The PP deputies, although they had asked for a separate vote on the chapter referring to the Election Syndicate, left the room after having left Spanish and Catalan flags on their seats. Àngels Martínez from CSQP stood up and removed the Spanish flags despite the protests of the chamber's speaker, Carme Forcadell.
The hours of tension in the Parliament ended after the vote with the singing of Els Segadors, the national anthem of Catalonia by the remaining deputies, then a shout of "Visca Catalunya" ("Long live Catalonia"), following by a long round of applause from those present, which included former president Artur Mas and the leaders of pro-independence organisations Òmnium Cultural and the Catalan National Assembly, Jordi Sànchez and Jordi Cuixart.