A MEMBER of the pro-independence party in Catalunya Junts pel Sí has died in hospital two weeks after being knocked over by a bicycle, which left her with serious head injuries.
MP Muriel Casals i Couturier, who gained a seat in the September 27 regional elections as part of the coalition formed by ex-president Artur Mas, passed away in intensive care at Barcelona's Hospital Clínic at 01.06hrs this morning.
Muriel, 70, was one of the main faces of the Catalunya independence movement along with Parliamentary chairwoman and former head of the region's National Assembly, Carme Forcadell.
She was also chair of the catalán culture platform, Òmnium Cultural, through which she launched a revolt against the Constitutional Court's order for the regional Statute to be severely edited in July 2010.
This revolt was said to be the launchpad for the pro-secession movement in the region.
Born in exile in Avignon, France, Sra Casals has always been linked to Catalunya's left-wing and was number three in the Junts pel Sí list, ahead of Artur Mas and Oriol Junqueras.
She was due to preside the study commission for the independence process – which Catalunya's regional government has announced it will complete within 18 months – but this was thwarted when she was rushed to hospital on Saturday, January 30 after a bicycle knocked her over in the centre of Barcelona, at the crossroads between C/ Urgell and C/ Provença.
This caused bleeding to the brain which had to be drained in surgery, and a fractured pelvis, leaving her fighting for her life in intensive care.
Her condition is said to have deteriorated rapidly in the last 48 hours.