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Catalonia will apply referendum law calling for independence declaration: leader

Catalan President Carles Puigdemont arrives at a meeting with members of the Independent Comission for Mediation and Dialogue, at the Palau de la Generalitat, the regional government headquarters in Barcelona, Spain, October 6, 2017. REUTERS/Yves Herman

BARCELONA (Reuters) - Catalonia will apply a referendum law, which calls for a declaration of independence if a referendum shows a majority in favor, Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont says in a television program to be broadcast later on Sunday.

“The declaration of independence, that we don’t call a ‘unilateral’ declaration of independence, is foreseen in the referendum law as an application of the results. We will apply what the law says,” Puigdemont says in the program on Catalonia’s TV3, according to excerpts on the broadcaster’s website.

The Catalan government says more than 90 percent of people who voted in an Oct. 1 referendum voted in favor of independence from Spain. The referendum was declared illegal by Spanish authorities and turnout was only 43 percent.

The Catalan law paving the way for the referendum said the parliament of Catalonia would declare the region’s independence within 48 hours of a “yes” vote being proclaimed by the Catalan electoral office.

Reporting by Adrian Croft, editing by David Evans