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Catalan Government actively backs November 9 vote but volunteers will be in charge of its execution

The National Alliance for Self-Determination, which groups more than 3,000 civil society organisations and public institutions, met on Friday and gave its support to holding the participatory process on Sunday despite the temporary suspension by the Constitutional Court. In addition, the Catalan Government committed itself to continuing to be behind the participatory process, after several people had speculated during the last few days that it would transfer the vote's organisation to civil society organisations. The Catalan Government has guaranteed that its venues (mainly high-schools) will be opened on Sunday and will host ballot boxes. In addition, it will back town halls and volunteers if there is any judicial problem. However, the actual execution of the voting process will be entirely run by volunteers. In addition, the National Alliance and the more than 3,000 organisations that are part of it will be also backing Sunday's participatory process and will share the responsibility.

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07 November 2014 08:05 PM

by

ACN

Barcelona (ACN).- The National Alliance for Self-Determination, which groups more than 3,000 civil society organisations and public institutions, met on Friday upon the request of the Catalan President and gave its full support to holding the participatory process on Sunday despite the temporary suspension by the Constitutional Court. In addition, the Catalan Government committed itself to continuing to be behind the participatory process, after several people had speculated during the last few days that it would transfer the vote's organisation to civil society organisations. The Catalan Government has guaranteed that its venues (mainly high-schools) will be opened on Sunday and will host ballot boxes. In addition, it will back town halls and volunteers if there is any judicial problem. However, the actual execution of the voting process will be entirely run by volunteers. In addition, the National Alliance and the more than 3,000 organisations that are part of it will be also backing Sunday's participatory process and will share the responsibility. It will be volunteers who are setting the polling stations, opening the polling stations, running the voting process and counting ballots. However, it is still unknown who will announce the final results, since this specific aspect has not been discussed in the National Alliance meeting.


On Sunday there will be ballot boxes in high-schools owned by the Catalan Government, although it will be volunteers who are in charge of opening the venues and running the voting process. Furthermore, Catalonia's National Alliance for Self-Determination offered "all its support" to November 9's participatory process and the more than 40,000 volunteers who will run the process. The National Alliance gathers together more than 3,000 associations that represent a large part of Catalonia's society, ranging from all the existing chambers of commerce to the main social NGOs, including most of the employers' associations, main trade unions, significant cultural organisations, sports associations such as FC Barcelona, and political parties supporting self-determination, etc. It is the 5th meeting of this platform bringing together most of Catalonia's civil society and its public institutions. The previous meeting took place only 2 weeks ago and all the participating organisations agreed to back the alternative citizen participation process taking place on November 9 that is replacing the original consultation vote that had also been scheduled for that day.

"The main actor of the final stage will be the volunteers"

The Chairman of the National Alliance, the veteran Christian-Democrat politician Joan Rigol, emphasised after the meeting that "the Catalan Government is assuming its responsibility until the very end, but being aware that in the final stage, the main actors are the volunteers" who have registered to run the vote on Sunday. Rigol highlighted that November 9's vote will be possible thanks to "a network" formed by the Catalan Government, municipal institutions and the institutions and civil society organisations that are part of the National Alliance for Self-Determination.

Avoiding any disturbance of the participatory process

Rigol stressed that there was "a clear atmosphere of unity" among all the organisations participating in the meeting. Furthermore, they all believe that November 9's participatory process "will be a success" and that there will not be "any interruption" of the voting process. However, Rigol warned that citizens, civil society organisations and institutions have "to be vigilant" to make sure that "nothing disturbs" the process and that "nobody spreads fear". To this end, the Chairman of the Alliance guaranteed that the Catalan Government will be actively backing the process and will offer legal coverage should there be any last-minute judicial problem.

In addition, the National Alliance has also acknowledged that there is "a relative abuse of power" by the Spanish Government, which is trying to stop Catalans to give their opinion in this non-binding process. They have criticised the pressure from the Spanish Government to town halls and directors of high-schools asking them not to participate in November 9's process.

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  • The Catalan President (centre) surrounded by participants of the 5th meeting of the National Alliance for Self-Determination (by ACN)

  • A general overview of the meeting's room at the Catalan Parliament (by ACN)

  • The Catalan President (centre) surrounded by participants of the 5th meeting of the National Alliance for Self-Determination (by ACN)
  • A general overview of the meeting's room at the Catalan Parliament (by ACN)