October 1 referendum results must be taken into account, says the international delegation
The spokesman of the delegation stated that the referendum has been “a success” despite “difficult circumstances”
The international delegation for the October 1 referendum said that “the results must be taken into account in the international community, especially by the European Union, the Council of Europe and the Spanish authorities”. According to the international delegation, "Catalan people" have showed “strength” regarding their right to vote and the referendum was “an authentic political mobilization”.
The spokesman of the international delegation for the October 1 referendum, Dimitrij Rupel, said that the referendum developed “under difficult circumstances" and, despite of this, it has been "a success".
According to him, the process was "well prepared" and in accordance with current Spanish legislation. "Activities at the school have been threatened and blocked by external interventions, including the use of violence by the Spanish police," said Rupel at a press conference. The spokesman of the international parliamentary delegation stressed that the intervention of the Spanish police was "threatening, brutal and violated human rights".
Yesterday, seventeen accredited observers also visited over 100 polling stations across Catalonia. The team of international election experts arrived in Catalonia last month. They monitored and recorded the situation from 5am until polls closed, at 8pm and then as ballots were counted. Despite difficulties, the observers acknowledge the peaceful nature of how the Catalan people acted yesterday.
"Activities at the school have been threatened and blocked by external interventions, including the use of violence by the Spanish police"
Dimitrij Rupel · Spokesman of the international delegation for the October 1 referendum
Helena Catt, head of the International Election Expert Research Team said:
"Yesterday I led a team of seventeen accredited observers who visited over 100 polling stations across Catalonia. This team has decades of experience carrying out over 300 election monitoring assignments all over the world. We monitored and recorded the situation from 5am until polls closed at 8pm and then as ballots were counted.
"When our team of international election experts arrived in Catalonia last month we promised to impartially record and report what we witnessed, warts and all. Undistorted and unvarnished. That’s want I intend to provide now in this preliminary statement and in our final report at the end of the week.
"Yesterday we witnessed events that no election monitors ought to ever witness. We hope to never witness scenes of this nature ever again. We saw numerous and repeated violations of civil and human rights. We are shocked that this happened at all.
"Even more so as it is clear to us that it was a centrally orchestrated, military-style operation carefully planned. We are stunned that armed masked officers entered polling stations with the purposes of preventing a peaceful democratic process.
"Despite these issues, and other difficulties people experienced trying to vote, I want to emphasise that we did see a day of voting yesterday.
"We wish to acknowledge the peaceful nature of how the Catalan people acted yesterday. We witnessed many acts demonstrating the strong will of the people which showed that they were determined to have their say and let others have their say through the ballot box, including the elderly and disabled.
"In the face of external interference there were improvisations and last minutes changes to the voting process that were not always consistent across Catalonia or with what was in the law or the manual and we will detail these in our final report.
"We repeatedly saw that those who worked in the polling stations did so in good faith, and we saw no sign of attempts to manipulate the vote. Everyone we saw was doing the best they could under difficult circumstance.
"In conclusion, across Catalonia we noted persistence in the effort to vote including significant turnout despite enormous obstacle and fear. The process should be respected.
"Finally, I would like to thank all the members of our team."