A LAST-minute deal between Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez and pro-independence Catalan politicians has made a repeat election less likely.

Socialist PM Sanchez reached a deal on Thursday regarding control of the Spanish parliament’s main administrative body, thanks to support from the Junts party.

After lawmakers were sworn in, the pro-independence Catalan party gave its votes to Francina Armengol, the socialist candidate for the presidency of the parliament’s bureau.

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The body approves the creation of parliamentary groups, authorizes investigative commissions and ultimately determines which bills are taken up by MPs.

Junts’s support was secured and announced just minutes before the parliament began its new legislative session.

The party, controlled by the former Catalan president Carles Puigdemont, had originally conditioned their support for the socialist party and Sanchez on the government granting blanket amnesty for those implicated in the 2017 Catalan independence referendum.

Puigdemont (below) had also called for Madrid to consent to hold a new vote on self-determination.

The National: Carles Puigdemont founded the pro-Catalan independence Junts party in 2020

Sanchez’s party have repeatedly rejected these calls and said they do not comply with Spain’s constitution, and other offers to sway Junts had largely failed with the party’s MPs.

The eleventh-hour deal was instead secured in exchange for new measures promoting the use of the Catalan language in parliament, as well as the creation of a special committee tasked with investigating surveillance of Catalan independence supporters.

The Junts party said that the agreement only lends itself to supporting Armengol’s presidency, not Sanchez’s bid to remain PM.

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Sanchez is bidding to stay in power after last month’s inconclusive national elections made it difficult for him to cobble together enough support for a minority coalition government.

After the vote on July 23, Spain’s left-wing and right-wing political blocs each control 171 seats in the 350-seat chamber.

The support of Junts’s MPs will be key for the election of the parliament’s leadership, and when Sanchez makes his bid to form a government next month.

We previously told how Puigdemont became an unlikely kingmaker after the election.