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Spanish prosecutor weighing charges against Catalan Government for buying ballot boxes

The Spanish prosecutor is preparing to file charges against the Catalan Government after it published an official offer of tenders for ballot boxes that could can be used for the independence referendum, the CNA has learntlearned. Sources close to the Spanish General Prosecutor, José Manuel Maza, said that they will present the case once the bid for the supply of the ballot boxes is completed. “They give us no other choice,” the same sources said, without offering any more details. The Catalan Government spokeswoman, Neus Munté, warned that “it doesn’t make any sense” to open a judicial investigation for into this as matter since “there is no law forbidding the purchase of ballot boxes”. She also said the Government won’t “tolerate any threats or intimidation” from the Spanish government towards the companies interesting in bidding.

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09 May 2017 04:35 PM

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ACN

Barcelona (ACN).- The Spanish prosecutor is preparing to file charges against the Catalan Government after the latter published an official announcement offer of tenders to buy for ballot boxes that could can be used for the independence referendum, the CNA has learntlearned. Sources close to the Spanish General Prosecutor, José Manuel Maza, said that they will present the case once the bid for the supply of the ballot boxes is completed. “They give us no other choice,”, the same sources said, without offering any more details. The Catalan Government spokeswoman, Neus Munté, warned that “it doesn’t make any sense” to open a judicial investigation for into this matter since as “there is no law forbidding the purchase of ballot boxes”. She also said they the Government won’t “tolerate any threats or intimidation” from the Spanish government towards the companies interesting in bidding.


“We would not understand any kind of investigation or intervention” to stop the Catalan Government to from buying the ballot boxes, said Munté in a press conference in Barcelona. She stressed that the announcement, published on Tuesday in the Catalan Government Official Journal, is an “administrative” issue that falls within “the obligations and powers of the Government”.

Sources close to the Spanish prosecutor said that the case against the bidding would be unavoidable following the reiterated repeated statements of the Catalan Government in favour of a referendum. According to the same sources, buying ballot boxes would be againstviolate recent court rulings by the Spanish Constitutional Court that forbid any moves towards the celebration of an independence vote in Catalonia.

“We are not going to tolerate any threat or intimidation from the Spanish government,”, said Munté, stressing that ballot boxes are used in “democratic events” and that this should not be a reason of concern. “Ballot boxes are needed in different kinds of electoral processes, t. The Catalan Government has the power to buy them and the commitment to celebrate a referendum,”, she pointed out. 

Steps towards buying ballot boxes

The Catalan Government published an announcement on Tuesday in its Official Journal inviting companies to bid to supply ballot boxes for the independence referendum. The executive needs up to 8,000 ballot boxes and is offering to pay up to €184,000. Companies will have 15 days to show their interest in providing them, and the Government will choose the best offer. In the same public call for tenders, the Generalitat is also offering €16,000 for cardboard ballot boxes. The announcement is the first step towards the celebration of the independence referendum. The Catalan Government is expected to announce a date for the vote before summer. Catalans were promised an independence referendum by autumn 2017.

The public call for tenders, signed by the Ministry of Government, aims to “supply ballot boxes for the elections to the Catalan Parliament, public consultationpolls, and other forms of citizen participation”. Therefore, and according to sources from the Catalan Government, the announcement is totally legal because Catalonia has the competence to organize such votes, in line with the Organic Law 5/195, the Catalan Statue of Autonomy, and the laws 4/2010 of popular consultationspolls, 10/2014 of popular consultations polls and others forms of citizen’s participation, and the law 2/1980 to that regulates  different types of referenda.

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  • A ballot box (by ACN)

  • A ballot box (by ACN)