Spanish Constitutional Court suspends Catalan independence referendum
The Spanish government challenged the legal framework for the October 1 vote on Thursday, claiming it is illegal
The Spanish Constitutional Court suspended the Catalan independence referendum and its legal framework on Thursday night as a precautionary measure. The Spanish government challenged legislation that will provide a legal base for the October 1 vote claiming it is illegal and unconstitutional.
The court accepted the four allegations presented by the Spanish government, thus automatically suspending the referendum and its legal framework as a temporary measure while it starts deliberations to reach a final verdict. The allegations include the referendum law, the decree calling the vote, the bill laying out the logistics and the article setting up the electoral board.
"We have the chance to decide becoming a state. It does not belong to any government or court"
Carles Puigdemont · Catalan president
The Catalan government officially called the referendum on Wednesday night, after president Carles Puigdemont and all his ministers signed the decree which calls on citizens to have their say on Catalan independence in a binding vote. They did so after a very tense 12-hour debate in the Catalan Parliament. The Catalan opposition parties and the Spanish cabinet repeatedly warned them that by signing the decree they could face criminal charges.
The Spanish president, Mariano Rajoy, also asked the Constitutional Court to notify nearly a thousand Catalan officials — including president Puigdemont, his ministers and city mayors — that organizing the referendum is illegal.
“What is not legal is not democratic,” claimed Spanish president, Mariano Rajoy, after holding a cabinet meeting on Thursday. “Therefore, the main responsibility of my government, and of any government in the world under any circumstance, is to ensure compliance with the law.”
The Catalan government pledged to carry on with the vote despite opposition from the Spanish government and the Constitutional Court. “We have the chance to decide becoming a state. It does not belong to any government or court,” Puigdemont said after signing the referendum decree on Wednesday.