October 27, 2017 / 1:19 PM / a year ago

Catalan parliament votes to start 'constituent process' to split from Spain

People react as they watch on giant screens a plenary session outside the Catalan regional parliament in Barcelona, Spain, October 27, 2017. REUTERS/Yves Herman

MADRID (Reuters) - The regional parliament of Catalonia on Friday voted a motion to begin a “constituent process” to split from Spain shortly before beginning a secret vote on whether or not to declare independence from the rest of the country.

Lawmakers from the Socialist Party, the People’s Party (PP) and Ciudadanos left the chamber before the vote in protest, leaving just the pro-independence groups Junts pel Si, CUP and the Podemos-associated Catalunya Si Que Es Pot to cast a ballot.

Reporting by Julien Toyer; Editing by Paul Day

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