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Catalan government denounces the obstacles to the vote abroad before Supreme Court

More than 7,000 catalans living abroad couldn’t exercise their democratic right to vote in the past 27-S elections. Catalan Minister for Public Administration, Mertixell Borràs accused Electoral Roll Office of “violating fundamental rights” by denying the government’s petition to extend the postal vote for those Catalans living abroad but contradictorily accepting to do so for soldiers and Catalans living in other parts of Spain.. “We warned that we won’t stand on the side lines and we haven’t” stated Borràs and announced that the Catalan Government presented an appeal to the Supreme Court to “assume responsabilities”. “It is clear that irregularities did happen in the months and weeks before the 27-S” and “someone must be held accountable, whether it is someone in the Postal Service, the Foreign Ministry, or the Electoral Roll office” she stated. “We have to make sure that this won’t happen again and that such an absurd situation won’t  go unpunished”. 

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29 October 2015 06:47 PM

by

ACN / Sara Prim

Barcelona (CNA).- Only 7,5% of the nearly 200,000 Catalans whom live abroad and are registered to vote were ultimately able do so in the last 27-S elections. “We warned that we won’t stand on the side lines and we haven’t” stated Catalan Minister for Public Affairs Meritxell Borràs and announced that the Catalan Government has presented an appeal to the Supreme Court to “assume responsabilities”. “It is clear that irregularities did happen in the months and weeks before the 27-S” and “someone must be held accountable, whether it is someone in the Postal Service, the Foreign Ministry, or the Electoral Roll office” she stated. Borràs also accused Electoral Roll Office of “violating fundamental rights” by denying the government’s petition to extend the postal vote for those Catalans living abroad but allowing the army and citizens from other parts of Spain to vote until a later date. Borràs described the decision as “contradictory” and accused Electoral Roll Office of being “committed to not facilitating” the vote abroad. 


The vote abroad “is an authentic odyssey” stated the Catalan Minister for Public Administration, Meritxell Borràs when she received the ballots from those Catalans living abroad. She added that 7,000 ballots that were sent on time weren’t able to reach their destination.

Soon after the election day, Borràs admitted that “something went wrong” in the vote abroad system and that the Spanish State couldn’t ignore “such a violation of a basic and fundamental right”. She warned that the Catalan Government  “won’t stand on the side lines” and her promise has been proven to be true. Borràs announced this Wednesday that the Government has presented an appeal before Supreme Court to “avoid such an absurd situation from happening again”. “It is clear that irregularities did happen in the months and weeks before the 27-S” and “someone must be held accountable, whether it is someone in the Postal Service, the Foreign Ministry, or the Electoral Roll office” she stated. Borràs also confirmed that the Government has requested a report to both the Postal Service and Electoral Roll office to analyse wether all the procedures were respected and worked as expected.

Electoral Roll Office didn’t respect “fundamental rights” nor “the equality principle”

Borràs also accused Electoral Roll Office of “violating fundamental rights” by denying the government’s petition to extend the postal vote for those Catalans living abroad. Borràs appealed to the “equality principle” as the postal vote was extended for the militaries and for those Catalans citizens from other parts of Spain and also pointed that the deadlines were extended in the European elections. 

The Catalan Minister for Public Administration didn’t accuse the Spanish State of acting deliberately but assured that Electoral Roll Office worked to make the procedures “more complicated rather than facilitating the right to vote”. “A third part of those Catalans whom requested to vote couldn’t finally do it and this is not an opinion, it is a fact” she concluded.

Answer to those Catalans who sent their complaints

The Ministry has sent a letter to those Catalans who expressed their problems to vote in the past 27-S elections. They have been offered the possibility to contact to association of lawyers “Drets” in order to start a lawsuit. On the other hand, the letter also reminds them how to request their vote and which are the deadlines in order to vote in the upcoming 20-D Spanish elections. In relation to this, the Ministry also sent letter to the Spanish Minister for Home Affairs urging him to make “some changes” to avoid this situation from happening again in the 20-D.

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  • Ballots ready at a polling station (by ACN)

  • Ballots ready at a polling station (by ACN)