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Salvador Illa, Spain’s former health minister, is contesting the election on a promise of unity, despite continuing split over independence

Salvador Illa, the Socialist candidate in Sunday’s Catalan election, has promised to focus on improving public health care, reactivating the economy, and bringing the region together after “10 lost years of increased division” caused by failed, unilateral efforts to secede from the rest of Spain.

Illa, who served as Spain’s health minister before stepping down last month to contest the election for the Socialist Party of Catalonia (PSC), said the coronavirus pandemic had underscored the need to overhaul and invest more in the region’s health system and to fix its economy.

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