Catalan President Carles Puigdemont delivers a speech in the Catalan regional parliament in Barcelona, Spain, October 10, 2017. Photo: ReutersS/Albert Gea

Catalan president Carles Puigdemont will call for fresh elections to be held late December in a bid to dissuade Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy from enforcing direct rule on the region, Barcelona-based La Vanguardia reports.

The move to impose direct rule was expected as soon as this Friday.

Uncertainty remained high this afternoon after Puigdemont delayed and then canceled an initial public address, Reuters reported, but a regional broadcaster said he will deliver a speech in the assembly at 5pm local time.

The Spanish stock market evidently thinks the crisis is over, with Spain’s benchmark IBEX up around 2.0% in late Thursday trading.