Only 7.5% of Catalans abroad voted in the 27-S elections
196,062 Catalans abroad are registered to vote but only 14,781 could effectively do so in the 27-S Catalan elections. Too many agents involved in a complex and long process deprived them of exercising their democratic right. “The Spanish State can’t ignore such a violation of a basic and fundamental right” stated the Catalan Minister for Public Administration, Meritxell Borràs, who lamented that nearly “7,000 votes that were sent on time couldn’t reach their destination”. On Wednesday the ballots that did arrive in Catalonia on time showed 63% of Catalans living abroad voted in support of independence. Although cross-party list ‘Junts Pel Sí’ (‘Together for Yes’) was the most voted, with 7,894 votes, it only maintains its 62 seats in the Catalan Parliament and still requires radical left pro-independence CUP in order to instate Mas as President, which the radical party refuses to do.
Barcelona (CNA).- The vote abroad was 63% pro-independence and unitary list ‘Junts Pel Sí (‘Together for Yes’) was by far the most voted party. However, only 7.5% of the nearly 200,000 Catalans whom live abroad and are registered to vote were ultimately able do so. The vote abroad “is an authentic odyssey” stated the Catalan Minister for Public Administration, Meritxell Borràs, and added that 7,000 ballots that were sent on time weren’t able to reach their destination. “The Spanish State can’t ignore such a violation of a basic and fundamental right” she stated. The counting of the vote abroad showed that the 27-S elections’ results haven’t changed. Therefore, the pro-independence cross-party list maintains its 62 seats in the Parliament and still requires radical left pro-independence CUP in order to instate Mas as President, which the radical party refuses to do.
The Catalan Minister for Public Administration, Meritxell Borràs, announced that the list with the highest number of votes was pro-independence unitary list ‘Junts Pel Sí’ with 7,894, followed by radical left pro-independence CUP, which got 1,526 votes and anti-Catalan nationalism Ciutadans, which got 1,429. The coalition ‘Catalunya Sí que es Pot’ received 1,231 votes from abroad, 1,025 went to the Catalan Socialist Party (PSC), 853 to the conservative People’s Party (PP) and Christian Democrat Unió, the smaller party in the former coalition CiU, obtained 425 votes.
The “odyssey” of the vote abroad
“The vote abroad is an authentic odyssey” stated the Catalan Minister for Public Administration, Meritxell Borràs, during the vote count on Wednesday. 21,771 Catalans abroad requested to vote, but only 14,781 ballots could finally be counted. “7,000 ballots from people who registered to vote, which is certainly an annoying process, never reached their destination. Something went wrong here” she emphasised. Catalans who wanted to express their opinion went through “a bureaucratic torment" as they had to “deal with consulates, embassies, shortened timetables, as the process took place in August, different criteria and of course, paying the cost of all the journeys and procedures required” she lamented.
An “archaic system”
“The Spanish State can’t ignore such a violation of a basic and fundamental right” she said and added that “in a democracy, voting is sacred”. “We are dealing with an archaic state which didn’t protect the fundamental rights of its citizens. Things must be changed. In a modern country the electronic vote must be implemented”. Borràs also urged Europe “to take note” of this problem and assured that the Catalan government wouldn’t “stand on the side lines”. “Losing a vote is a problem; impeding a lot of them, is not democratic” she concluded.
Catalan MEPs have requested a meeting with the European Ombudsman
Catalan MEPs from left wing pro-independence ERC-NeCat, liberal CDC, Christian Democrat UDC and Eco-Socialist ICV have requested a meeting with European Ombudsman, Emily O’Reilly, “as soon as possible” to denounce the obstacles reported in the vote abroad process. “Tens of thousands of Catalan citizens who live in the EU couldn’t vote in the 27-S elections” Josep Maria Terricabras, Ernest Maragall, Ramon Tremosa, Francesc Gambús and Ernest Urtasun reported this Thursday in a joint letter to O’Reilly. “The reason is most probably the bad practice of the Spanish administration and the Spanish government’s admitted lack of effort to solve the problem”, they suggest in the letter. According to the MEPs, the International Federation of Catalan Associations (‘FIEC’ in Catalan) will present “documents regarding this situation” to O’Reilly in order to find out “if it is possible to start an investigation and find solutions to a problem that is lately being repeated in every elections”, stated the MEPs.
The 27-S results haven’t changed
Earlier in the week the possibility of adding another seat to the 62 obtained by ‘Junts Pel Sí’ emerged. The possibility that the votes from abroad may favour the pro-independence list could have meant that PP could have lost one of its MPs in favour of ‘Junts Pel Sí’. If that would have been the case, ‘Junts Pel Sí’ would have had 63 seats in the Parliament and would have been able to approve President Mas’ investiture as President in the second ballot. However, the vote abroad count showed that, despite being the most voted party, ‘Junts Pel Sí’ hasn’t increased its number of seats. Therefore, the possibility that Mas could be instated as President in the second ballot is no longer valid and ‘Junts Pel Sí’ still requires left pro-independence CUP’s support in order to do so. The radical party refuses to do this and this week the number two of the candidacy, Anna Gabriel, stated that that the Catalan President “has to be a person who can’t be identified with cuts, corruption and privatisations”.