90 Percent Of 2.2 Million Votes Call For Independent Catalonia

News World India | 0
| October 2 , 2017 , 10:46 IST

In Catalonia's quest for independence from Spain, the Catalonian government announced that 2.2 million votes had been cast in its independence referendum out of which 90 percent of votes had called for the region to separate from Spain, as compared to the 7.8 percent votes against the separation.

Despite the Spanish constitutional court declaring the voting held on Sunday as illegal, government spokesperson Jordi Turull said that the voting was valid, adding that more than 2.26 million votes had been tallied despite occupation of Spanish police at 400 polling stations. The Spanish police reportedly carried away polling material and the ballot boxes as well, supporting the Spain government's claim that the polling was illegal.

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Regional president, Carles Puigdemont on Sunday said Catalonia "has won the right to decide its future, its sovereignty".

Puigdemont added that the in the coming days he would foward the results of the referendum to the regional Parliament and if the majority voted for seceding, he would unilaterally proclaim independence for the Catalonia region.  

The 'universal census' had been set up by the region as a surprise move, allowing people to vote at any polling station in the region, permitting them to vote with home-printed ballots, without envelopes as well.

Only one question was featured on the ballot: "Do you want Catalonia to become an independent state in the form of a republic?"

Out of the 5,313,000 eligible voters, 2,262,424 ballots were cast, resulting in a participation rate of 42 percent.

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Meanwhile, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, declaring the referendum illegal, said that "there has been no plebiscite on self-determination".

The attempt of security forces to impede the voting process led to the injury of more than 800 people, including 19 police personnel and 14 Civil Guardsmen.

Catalonia, located in the north-east part of Spain is a wealthy region with 7.5 million residents and its own regional government 'Generalitat' which has considerable powers over healthcare, education and tax collection over the region.

Since 2010, Catalonia's attempt to separate from Spain gained momentum when Spain's economy plunged due to a financial crisis. Although Catalonia held a similar poll in 2014 regarding independence from Spain, only 32 percent of the electorate turned out.