Efforts by the acting president of Spain's powerful northeastern Catalonia region to form a pro-independence regional government have been dealt another blow as the radical pro-secession CUP party reaffirmed its opposition to his candidacy.
Artur Mas heads the "Together for Yes" alliance that won 62 seats in the 135-seat regional parliament in September elections but, lacking a majority, he is seeking support from CUP, which has 10 seats.
CUP has voted against him twice and on Sunday its members decided to maintain the stance. They agreed to continue talks with Mas' alliance but called on it to present another candidate.
However, CUP leader Antonio Banos said Monday the party members' decision was not binding and that all options were still open.
The Catalan parliament has until Jan. 10 to form a government or call a new election. The pro-independence parties fear the independence drive would lose momentum if fresh regional elections were held.