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Catalonia Defies Madrid – Goes to Polls to Vote for Independence

Despite various efforts by the Spanish central government in Madrid, Polls opened in the province of Catalonia.

Prior to the opening of the polls today, fears were palpable that the vote could lead to confrontations between demonstrators and an estimated 5 million – with some 17,000 police deployed to “maintain public order.”

Madrid opposed election observers from displaying their own political symbols, and derided calls by pro-independence parties for conducting their own recounts. Spanish authorities even banned the Catalan color yellow in public – including the yellow ribbons worn in solidarity with Catalonia’s recently jailed politicians.

Deposed Catalan president Carles Puigdemont hailed the vote as ‘a victory of democracy’, as the pro-unionist Citizens Party decried “unfair” laws for their inability to form a majority government this week.

“I want to congratulate the Catalan people, because they have sent a message to the world. The Catalan republic has beaten the monarchy and article 155. The Spanish state has been beaten. Mr Rajoy and his allies have lost,” said the exiled Puigdemont from Brussels.

The Telegraph reports…

“Catalonia’s pro-independence parties were on Thursday night headed for victory in hotly disputed elections that had been called by the Spanish government in a bid to halt the secession crisis.

With 85 percent of the votes counted, the pro-independence bloc were on course to secure an absolute majority with 70 seats out of the parliament’s 135.

Campaigns began to celebrate the surprise win, which defies consistent poll predictions of a hung parliament. “As you can see, we are the comeback kids,” Joan Maria Pique, campaign manager for ousted president Carles Puigdemont’s party, said.

The unionist centre right party Ciudadanos, Ines Arrimadas, was poised to become the largest single force in the parliament after making impressive gains. But overall, the anti-independence bloc were set to take just 57 seats – dashing the hopes of Mariano Rajoy, the Spanish prime minister, that it would put down the secessionist project in the northern autonomous community.

Catalans turned out in record numbers to vote in the elections they hope will offer a solution to the independence crisis, amid heavy security and searing tensions over the secessionist project.”

While Madrid adamantly opposes any unilateral moves towards secession, the government of Mariano Rajoy has stated that it will accept a pro-independence government – so long as it remains within the law.

READ MORE CATALONIA NEWS AT: 21st Century Wire Catalan Files




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