Catalonia’s leader delivers victory speech after 90% of voters vote for independence in referendum

Catalonia’s leader delivers victory speech after 90% of voters vote for independence in referendum

Voters cheering upon hearing the result of the referendum, which was in favor of independence with an overwhelming majority. October 1, 2017 Barcelona, Catalonia (Photographer: Takahiro Miyagi)


 

October 3, 2017 Ryukyu Shimpo

 

Takahiro Miyagi reporting from Barcelona

 

Catalonia, the autonomous region located in northeastern Spain, voted for independence in a referendum held on October 1.

90% of voters voted in favor of becoming an independent state.

Voter turnout was held to just over 40% of eligible voters, as Spain’s central judicial authorities resorted to forceful tactics such as blockading polling centers and forcibly removing voters in an attempt to suppress the vote.

Carles Puigdemont, Catalan President of the Generaliat, delivered a victory speech, stating, “Catalonia has won the right to independence.

” In a few days, the Parliament of Catalonia will convene for the purpose of issuing a declaration of independence from Spain.

 

Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, who leads the Spanish central government that has declared the referendum “illegal,” commented that “No [legal] referendum has been held in Catalonia today.”

Over 844 people received medical treatment after clashing with police who tried to prevent the vote from taking place, and 92 people among those were confirmed to have sustained serious injury.

 

The referendum consisted of a single question: “Do you want Catalonia to become an independent state in the form of a republic,” to which voters could answer “Yes” or “No.” According to the Catalan government, 2.2 million of Catalonia’s roughly 5.3 million eligible voters, approximately 40%, cast their vote.

90% of voters, roughly 2 million people, voted for independence, with the remaining 170,000 voting against. Among the 2,300 polling stations provided for the referendum, the central government forcibly prevented voting at around 400 stations.

 

Catalan President Puigdemont indicated his intention to continue moving forward towards independence.

With regards to those injured on the day of voting, Puidgemont said, “Today the Spanish government wrote another shameful page in its history with Catalonia.

” Rajoy, speaking from the Spanish capital of Madrid, said, “The door is not closed to further dialogue.”

 

(English translation by T&CT and Sam Grieb)

 

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