Catalan separatists occupy polling stations ahead of disputed vote
Oct 01, 2017, 00:34
Catalan police closed 1,300 schools, which were due to become polling stations for the region's independence referendum on Sunday, Spanish government representative in Catalonia Enric Millo said Saturday.
Spain's Constitutional Court suspended the independence vote more than three weeks ago but Catalonia's regional government is pressing ahead with it and urging registered voters to take part.
The raid was meant to stop the use of vote-counting software linked to Sunday's referendum, Piqué said, adding that the Catalan government has an alternative to the software.
Dr James Summers is a Professor of International Law at Lancaster University.
But as classes ended for the day, small groups of activists, including parents with their children, on Friday peacefully occupied several schools in Barcelona where voting is scheduled to take place.
But Jordi Sanchez, the president of the Catalan National Assembly, an influential pro-independence organisation, toldAFP the court order "simply says that on Sunday these spaces can't be used for the referendum".
Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy's conservative government has said any vote on Catalan secession would have to be held across all of Spain, not just in Catalonia.
"I insist that there will be no referendum on October 1", government spokesman Inigo Mendez de Vigo said, adding that organisers would face criminal charges for trying to hold it.
Tens of thousands of secessionist Catalans have taken to the streets in Barcelona to promote the "Yes" campaign in their final rally ahead of the controversial referendum on independence from mainland Spain.
Earlier this week, farmers staged a protest in Barcelona, flying Catalonian flags on their tractors and chanting "we will vote".
Officers have also been seizing items such as ballot papers, while prosecutors have ordered the closure of websites linked to the vote and the arrest of officials organising the referendum. "It would be foolish for Catalonia to not continue in Spain", he said.
Montserrat Aguilera wasn't intending to vote for the Catalonia region to secede from the rest of Spain.
"We are convinced that all internal matters will be solved in accordance with the laws of Spain".
The Catalan government had not yet made clear how it would respond if the plebiscite results in a "yes" vote.
The Spanish government source said it would be up to the police how they carried out orders to remove people from polling stations.
Catalan President Carles Puigdemont has called on Catalans to actpeacefully during Sunday's referendum as thousands descend on Barcelona Town Hall on the eve of the poll.
The force's loyalty has been torn between the central and regional governments.
"Everything is prepared at the more than 2,000 voting points so they have ballot boxes and voting slips, and have everything people need to express their opinion", Puigdemont said.
The government also announced it would block access to public buildings designated as polling stations.
However, he admitted there could be "sham voting" in the region, located in Spain's northeast, where millions could turn out, according to some projections. "It's been enough lies telling people that they can't be Catalans and Spanish at the same time", Morales said.
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