Catalonia Leaders Seek to Make Independence Referendum Binding

The vote also set off a debate in Madrid over the loyalty of security forces, after the Mossos d’Esquadra, Catalonia’s autonomous police force, failed to follow Madrid’s orders and close down polling stations early Sunday.

Catalan television stations later showed some Mossos and Catalan firefighters confronting the national police as tensions mounted at polling stations.

Pablo Iglesias, the leader of Podemos, Spain’s far-left party, said the country was “in a state of crisis,” showcased by the images that were broadcast around the world on Sunday of “policemen who scuffle with firemen and in some cases even with other security forces.”

Albert Rivera, the leader of Ciudadanos, a party fiercely opposed to secessionism, called on Monday for Mr. Puigdemont “to stop this folly” and abandon his plans to declare independence. Otherwise, he said, Mr. Rajoy’s government would have no alternative than to take full charge of Catalonia.

“A lot of people are forgetting that most Catalans don’t support this” independence project, Mr. Rivera told the broadcaster Telecinco. “I don’t want them to destroy the Constitution, and I want to be Catalan, Spanish and European.”

In addition to facing an insurgency in Catalonia, Mr. Rajoy’s political survival in Madrid is on the line. He was due to meet on Monday with Pedro Sánchez, the leader of the main opposition party, the Socialists.

Mr. Sánchez was critical Sunday night of both Mr. Rajoy and Mr. Puigdemont for provoking “an image that shames us,” but he put the blame more firmly on Mr. Puigdemont for ignoring Spanish law and threatening the “territorial integrity of Spain.”

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