90% of voters said ‘Yes’ to independence from Spain – Catalan government

01 October 2017
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People react as they gather at Plaza Catalunya after voting ended for the banned independence referendum, in Barcelona, Spain October 1, 2017 © Susana Vera / Reuters

 

The overwhelming majority of Catalans who participated in the banned referendum have voted in favor of independence from Spain, the Catalan government has announced.

Over two million Catalans, or 90.9 percent, of those who voted said ‘Yes’ in Sunday's referendum, regional authorities said. Only 7.87 percent, or 176,565, voters said ‘No’ when asked if they want to attain independence from Madrid.

The Catalan government said the result reflects only the ballots that “were not seized” during police raids on polling stations throughout the day.

“What kind of a democracy steals ballot boxes?” asked Vice President Oriol Junqueras, standing next to government representatives, Raul Romeva and Jordi Turull.

“We will be consistent with the democratic mandate that citizens have given us today,” he added. “Catalonia has won its right to be a new Republic, if this is what the Parliament decides.”

Of Catalonia’s 5.34 million voters, this represents a turnout of around 42.3 percent, excluding those whose ballots were confiscated and people who were prevented from voting by police.

The massive police crackdown “prevented” an estimated 770,000 people from voting, Catalan government board member Turull said during the vote result announcement.

Turull said out of the 844 people that suffered injuries from police brutality during the vote, 74 have already filed official complaints.

Meanwhile, the head of the regional government, Carles Puigdemont, has announced that the results would be sent to the Catalan Parliament within 48 hours, where the sovereignty of the people lies, so that it can act in accordance with the law of the referendum.

Praising the courage of millions of Catalan people, who, despite a violent police crackdown, took to the polling stations Sunday, Puigdemont said that Catalonia had earned its right to have an independent state.

Following a day of turbulence and violence in Catalonia which left over 800 people injured, the regional government defiantly declared the referendum vote valid, despite Madrid’s claim that the plebiscite "never took place."

“We have managed to celebrate the referendum on self-determination that the State has strived to prevent,” Puigdemont said in a statement from the Palau de la Generalitat.

He further called on democrats from across Spain, Europe and the world to note the scale of violence by national police officers during the vote, which the government in Madrid justified as “proportional.”

Puigdemon said the central government crackdown on mainly peaceful voters was “unjustified, shocking and abusive.”

At least 844 people were injured on Sunday after being attacked by police as they were exercising their democratic right to vote – RT News

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