Catalan Referendum Votes for 'Right to Statehood'

تم نشره في Mon 2 October / Oct 2017. 12:00 AM
  • Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont was flanked by members of his government as he made his statement - (Reuters)

CAPITALS — Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont says the Spanish region has won the right to statehood following a contentious referendum that was marred by violence.

He said the door was open to a unilateral declaration of independence after Catalan officials said voters had backed secession with a 42.3 per cent turnout.

Spain's government has warned it could suspend Catalan autonomy.

The constitutional court banned the vote and almost 900 people were hurt as police tried to stop it going ahead.

Officers from the national police and paramilitary Civil Guard seized ballot papers and boxes at polling stations.

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said Catalans had been fooled into taking part in an illegal vote.

More than 2.2 million people were reported to have voted, according to Catalan authorities, out of 5.3 million registered voters. Just under 90 per cent of those who voted backed independence, they said.

A Catalan spokesman said more than 750 thousand votes could not be counted because polling stations were closed and urns were confiscated.