PRO-INDEPENDENCE party CUP has refused to invest Artur Mas as regional president of Catalunya, meaning new elections will have to be held.
The party led by Mas (pictured), Junts pel Sí ('together for yes') fell short of a majority in Catalunya's regional elections in September, but a coalition with the Catalán Unionist Party (CUP) would mean the politicians in favour of secession holding an overwhelming majority and allowing them to go ahead with their plans to turn the region into a separate country.
But the CUP has said all along it would not agree to Mas continuing as president if a coalition was formed.
Mas stood his ground, even though he was only number four on the Junts pel Sí list, and the two parties have hit a stalemate.
They have not, therefore, been able to form a regional government in time for the post-election deadline, meaning they have no option but wait again as Catalunya's residents and natives go back to the polls.
These will be called in the spring, and will be the fourth regional elections since 2010.
A total of 36 members of the government voted against Mas being invested as president, and 30 voted in favour, with one abstaining.
Other than CUP and the Grup d'Acció Parliamentària (GAP), other political parties told Mas they would not attempt to negotiate for his continuing as president if the CUP voted against.
Now, the regional Parliament will be dissolved on January 10 and elections will be held between 40 and 60 days later.