Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has announced Madrid’s decision to dismiss Catalonia's separatist government and hold fresh elections in the region in a bid to prevent Catalan leaders from declaring independence.

If the results of the new election are not what Rajoy wants, can he repeat the election multiple times, until it produces acceptable results (then, in practice, there will not be a Catalan government)?

This question is not duplicate of the "What does "direct Spanish rule over Catalonia" actually mean?". this question is about a constitutional trick that helps(?) Rajoy to prevent Catalan government to be formed for a period of time till people at the region cool down.


1 Answer 1


Section 155 of the Spanish Constitution

  1. If a Self-governing Community does not fulfil the obligations imposed upon it by the Constitution or other laws, or acts in a way that is seriously prejudicial to the general interest of Spain, the Government, after having lodged a complaint with the President of the Self-governing Community and failed to receive satisfaction therefore, may, following approval granted by the overall majority of the Senate, take all measures necessary to compel the Community to meet said obligations, or to protect the above-mentioned general interest.
  2. With a view to implementing the measures provided for in the foregoing paragraph, the Government may issue instructions to all the authorities of the Self-governing Communities.

This is a copy of a similar Section of the German Constitution. It has a deliberate open redaction because it is intended to be used in very extreme situations.

According to several Constitutionalists experts in Spain, it is very doubtful that this Section can be used to invoke a single new election in Catalonia.

The redaction allows the Government of Spain to take temporary control of several aspects of any Autonomous Community. It is not possible to suspend an Autonomous Community with this section or with any section of the Spanish Constitution, so the answer shoud be "No", Rajoy cannot repeat elections in Catalonia as much as he can.

It is even under discussion if Section 155 enables him to convoke elections once in Catalonia.

Hope you find this answer of interest.

  • 1
    The last paragraphs of your answer add nothing but opinion to it. While I somewhat agree with you, I think your answer would be better and more concise if you just remove everything after "We are living an extreme situation..." (+1)
    – Rekesoft
    Commented Oct 23, 2017 at 7:24
  • Good idea. I have deleted it Commented Oct 25, 2017 at 21:45

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