Pro-independence camp celebrates referendum anniversary with aims to surpass 50% in next election
Government headquarters decorated with four giant red bands representing stripes in Catalan flag
The pro-independence parties have celebrated the third anniversary of the 2017 referendum with their eyes set on the upcoming election, expected to be held next February.
The recent removal of Catalan president Quim Torra from power due to his disobedience case was the backdrop of the day, and reason for the upcoming early vote.
At midday, parties, civic organizations, institutions, and part of the culture sector marked the day with a unitary event in Barcelona also joined by the parliament speaker, Roger Torrent, and the vice president with functions of president, Pere Aragonès.
They held it outside Pau Claris school, one of the most iconic polling stations where the Spanish police operation was displayed.
In another event held by Junts per Catalunya, both Torra and his predecessor, the exiled leader Carles Puigdemont, urged the independence camp to surpass the 50% of votes in the next election.
If that threshold is passed, it would be the first time pro-independence parties receive more than half of the vote share, after the movement obtained the majority of seats in the chamber but fell short of a majority of votes (47%) in the past two votes, in 2015 and 2017.
Carlos Carrizosa of unionist party Ciudadanos, on the other hand, dismissed calls to turn the election into a "plebiscite," which he said reminded him of the 2015 election months before Carles Puigdemont assumed the presidency in 2016.
Meanwhile, the ousted president criticized that Spain "has not apologized yet for what happened" on October 1, 2017, referring to the police operation to prevent the voted that resulted in over 1,000 people injured according to the Catalan health department. He also referred to the judicial cases stemming from the referendum, involving hundreds of people.
The event was held in Cornellà de Terri, the village near Girona where former president Puigdemont managed to vote after the Spanish police prevented the referendum in the polling station where he was planning to cast his ballot, in Sant Julià de Ramis (Girona).
The president of the civic organization ANC, Elisenda Paluzie, joined the calls for the pro-independence camp to reach 50% of the votes.
If so, she said that during the four years of the next term a declaration of independence should have to be "enforced."
The Catalan government did not take part in any event to mark the day, but its headquarters were decorated with four giant red bands representing the four red stripe in the Catalan flag – it was the ousted president, Quim Torra, who instructed this move.