Catalan Referendum: Preliminary Results Show 90% In Favor Of Independence

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Catalan Referendum: Preliminary Results Show 90% In Favor Of Independence

Students wear Esteladas (Catalan separatist flag) during a demonstration in favor of the banned October 1 independence referendum in Barcelona. The graffiti on the wall reads, “We will vote!” REUTERS/Jon Nazca

Catalan officials have claimed a win for independence as the contentious October 1 referendum drew to a close. According to Jordi Turull, the Catalan regional government spokesperson, 90% of the 2.26 million Catalans who voted Sunday chose yes. The turnout was 42.3% despite Madrid actively trying to prevent the vote.

Turull said the number of ballots did not include those confiscated by Spanish police during violent raids which resulted in hundreds of people being injured.

The national police and Guardia Civil – a military force charged with police duties – were sent into Catalonia in large numbers to prevent the vote.

At least 844 people and 33 police were reported to have been hurt, including at least two people who were thought to have been seriously injured.

Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont claimed that the citizens of Catalonia had won the right to an independent state in in the form of a republic. “My government, in the next few days, will send the results of [the] vote to the Catalan parliament, where the sovereignty of our people lies, so that it can act in accordance with the law of the referendum.”

Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy replied by saying that “there has not been a self-determination referendum in Catalonia.”

Ada Colau, the mayor of Barcelona, demanded an end to the police actions and called for the Rajoy’s resignation.

The EU representatives remain largely silent on the results of the referendum, with those who spoke up mostly focused on condemning police violence. The Belgian prime minister, Charles Michel, said that “violence can never be the answer”. The Slovenian prime minister, Miro Cerar, said he was “concerned”. First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon who also is in favor of determining Scotland’s independence by means of referendum voiced her concern, condemning the scenes of violence during the Catalan vote “regardless of views on independence.”

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