Ciudadanos (Cs) leader Albert Rivera has called for direct rule in Catalonia to continue despite the formation of a new government. Rivera has asked Spanish president Mariano Rajoy to extend the takeover in order to cover public media, finances, foreign policy and Catalonia’s own police force, the Mossos d’Esquadra.

“It’s fundamental that public media defend the constitutional framework, act within the constitutional framework, and act in order to inform rather than making separatist propaganda” said Rivera.

Cs, the fourth largest party in the Spanish parliament is set to eventually overtake Rajoy’s People’s Party and head the Spanish government, according to recent polls. In Catalonia, Ciudadanos became the most voted party in last December’s election and currently leads the opposition in the Catalan parliament.

Spanish direct rule

The Spanish government triggered Article 155 of the Spanish Constitution last October, following a declaration of independence deemed illegal. With the support of Cs and the Spain’s main opposition party, the Socialists, Rajoy dismissed all Catalan government officials, suspended self-rule and called a new election on December 21.

The pro-independence parties held on to a narrow majority in the chamber, but all their attempts to appoint a new head of government were blocked by Spanish courts, until Quim Torra was elected on Monday.

“Article 155 must be extended in order to guarantee the rights and freedoms of all Catalans,” said Cs leader Albert Rivera after meeting Rajoy on Thursday. “Catalan society is expecting actions and solutions in order to guarantee the Constitution.”

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