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The Hindu Vocab 30th Dec 2017

A complex result: on the Catalan election

The fractured outcome of the Catalan election demands wise next steps from Madrid

Last week’s snap (फ़ोटो) election in Catalonia in Spain saw pro-independence parties win an absolute (निरपेक्ष) majority in the region’s parliament, but challenges remain for them to form a government given the fractured mandate. The three main pro-independence parties, Together for Catalonia (JxCat), Republican Left of Catalonia (ERC), and the left-wing Popular Unity Candidacy (CUP), which secured 70 of 135 seats and 48% of the popular vote collectively, could form a government if they can band together — an outcome that is not a given. The Ciudadanos (Citizens) party, which wants Catalonia to be semi-autonomous (अर्द्ध स्वायत्त), emerged (उभर कर आना) as the single largest party with 37 seats and 25% of the vote, a large jump from its previous vote share of 7.6% two years ago. The fact that JxCat leader Carles Puigdemont, the former president of the region and the driving force behind the independence referendum (जनमत-संग्रह), is in exile (निर्वासित करना), and former vice-president Oriol Junqueras, who leads the ERC, is in prison makes the formation of a pro-independence coalition (गठबंधन) tricky. Mr. Puigdemont will have to return to Barcelona if he wants to lead a government but he faces arrest upon return. Even if he does return, it remains to be seen if the pro-independence parties can find alignment (एकत्रीकरण). Mr. Junqueras has suggested he is open to reconciliation (पुनर्मिलन) with Madrid while also pursuing (पीछा करना) independence, a softer approach than Mr. Puigdemont’s.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has indicated that the winner of the elections, in his reckoning (हिसाब), is the 36-year-old rising star of the Citizens party, Inés Arrimadas, who ran a campaign — not unlike others seen recently in Europe — focussing on the economic consequences (आर्थिक परिणाम) of Catalonia leaving Spain. While it is true that Ms. Arrimadas’s party is the biggest winner, it still does not have a majority of seats; forming a coalition of anti-independence parties will be difficult. It is not surprising that Mr. Rajoy looks favourably (प्रशंसात्मक ढंग से) on the Citizens party, which supports his centre-right People’s Party (PP) at the national level, enabling them to form a minority government in Madrid. This is especially significant in light of the dismal results of the PP in the Catalonian elections. The party won just three seats, down from 11 in the previous parliament. It behoves (उचित होना) Mr. Rajoy, in his capacity as Prime Minister, to opt for the path of dialogue and understanding. This will likely involve, as a first step, facilitating (आसान) the return of Mr. Puigdemont and the release of Mr. Junqueras and those who were jailed with him, potentially facing 30 years in prison for non-violent political acts. While giving in to expediency (योग्यता) may be tempting (लुभाने वाला), it will be costly for Catalonia and Spain in the longer term. Dialogue is crucial, given the complex and divisive (विभाजक/बांटनेवाला) issue of independence.

  1. Absolute: exercising power or authority without interference by others
    Synonyms: arbitrary, autocratic (also autocratical), czarist (also tsarist or tzarist), despotic, dictatorial, monocratic, tyrannical (also tyrannic), tyrannous
    Antonyms: circumscribed, restrained, restricted, constitutional, lawful, democratic, republican, limited
  2. Emerged: to come to one’s attention especially gradually or unexpectedly
    Synonyms: come up, crop (up), arise, materialize, spring (up), surface
    Words related: appear, come out, show up, turn up, chance, come, come about, fall out, go (on), go off, hap, happen, occur, pass, transpire, interfere, interpose, intervene, intrude
  3. Referendum: A general vote by the electorate on a single political question which has been referred to them for a direct decision
    Synonyms: public vote, plebiscite, popular vote, ballot, poll
  4. Exile: a person forced to emigrate for political reasons
    Synonyms: deportee, evacuee, émigré, expat [chiefly British], expatriate, refugee
    Antonyms: repatriation, return, immigration
  5. Coalition: a group of people acting together within a larger group
    Synonyms: bloc, block, body, faction, party, sect, set, side, wing
    Words related: cabal, conspiracy, junto, cartel, syndicate, trust, faction, front, fusion, side, wing, association, group, organization
  6. Alignment: Arrangement in a straight line or in correct relative positions.
  7. Reconciliation: the restoration of friendly relations.
    Synonyms: reuniting, reunion, bringing together (again), bringing back together again, conciliation, reconcilement
    Antonyms: estrangement, alienation, feud
  8. Pursuing: the act of going after or in the tracks of another
    Synonyms: chase, chasing, dogging, following, hounding, pursuit, shadowing, tagging, tailing, tracing, tracking, trailing
    Antonyms: avoid, flee, eschew, shun, give up
  9. Favourably: in a pleasing way
    Synonyms: agreeably, charmingly, delectably, deliciously, delightfully, dreamily, enchantingly, enjoyably, well, felicitously, fetchingly, gloriously, gratifyingly, great, nicely, palatably, pleasantly, pleasingly, pleasurably, prettily, satisfyingly, splendidly, sweetly, swimmingly, welcomely, winningly
    Antonyms: abominably, appallingly, awfully, dreadfully, horrendously, horribly, horridly, shockingly, sickeningly, terribly, vilely, badly, disagreeably, ill, unpleasantly
  10. Behoves: it is a duty or responsibility for someone to do something.
    Synonyms: be incumbent on, be obligatory for, be required of, be appropriate for, be expected of, be advisable for, be sensible for, be wise for
  11. Facilitating: to free from obstruction or difficulty
    Synonyms: ease, grease, loosen (up), smooth, unclog
    Antonyms: hinder, impede, perplex, sophisticate, Complicate
  12. Expediency: suitability for bringing about a desired result under the circumstances
    Synonyms: advisability, advisableness, desirability, desirableness, expedience, judiciousness, prudence, wisdom
    Antonyms: imprudence, inadvisability, inexpedience, inexpediency, injudiciousness, unwisdom, inopportuneness, unseasonableness, untimeliness
  13. Tempting: to lead away from a usual or proper course by offering some pleasure or advantage
    Synonyms: allure, bait, beguile, betray, decoy, entice, lead on, seduce, solicit, lure
    Antonyms: alert, caution, forewarn, ward (off), warn, drive (away or off), repulse, turn away
  14. Divisive: tending to cause disagreement or hostility between people.
    Synonyms: alienating, estranging, isolating, schismatic; discordant, disharmonious, inharmonious
    Antonyms: unifying
  15. Reckoning: the act of placing a value on the nature, character, or quality of something
    Synonyms: appraisal, appraisement, assessment, estimation, evaluation, estimate, valuation
    Words Related: calculation, computation, measurement, mensuration, audit, check, checkup, examination, inspection, review, scan, scrutiny, survey
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