The Guardian · Artur Mas “The people of Catalonia have voted. Let democracy take its course”

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The people of Catalonia have voted. Let democracy take its course.

On Sunday, 2,305,290 people voted at 1,317 polling stations across Catalonia, in addition to 13,573 Catalans who voted worldwide. This was a similar turnout to May’s European elections. A cross-party international delegation of observers, which included members of different European and national parliaments, stated that the vote was “conducted successfully in challenging circumstances” and they emphasised the calm that dominated every aspect of the vote.

Up to 80.7% of the voters chose “yes-yes” in answer to the two-part question of “Do you want Catalonia to be a state?” and, if so, “Do you want that state to be independent?”. Another 10% voted “yes” to Catalonia being a state but “no” to that state being independent, while 4.5% voted a clear “no” to Catalonia being a state at all.

The Spanish government refused all of our requests for dialogue, and instead of seeking a political solution to a political problem opted for legal tactics to block every way we tried to hold a democratic vote on Catalonia’s future. We sought to have an authorised referendum like Scotland and Quebec, and the Spanish parliament refused that. The constitutional court then suspended our call for a non-binding consultation. When we then moved to a non-binding participatory process, they likewise tried to suspend that.

But a huge majority of Catalans, whether in favour of independence or not, just wanted to express their wishes at the ballot box having given my government and the Catalan parliament a mandate for that in the last parliamentary elections in November 2012. Therefore, despite constant threats from the Spanish government, we were not intimidated and went ahead with our vote. If the Spanish public prosecutor is looking for someone to blame, that person should be no one else but me. […]

Read @ The Guardian

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