An overwhelming majority of Catalans have said “yes” to independence and secession from the central Spanish government in Madrid in a highly-anticipated but symbolic referendum poll on Sunday.
Some 80.72 percent voted to form a state independent of Spain, Joana Ortega, vice president Catalonia said shortly after midnight, with over two million Catalans reportedly turning out for the unofficial referendum. Ortega could not immediately give an official turnout rate since there was no formal electoral roll for some 5.4 million registered Catalan voters.
Voters were given two questions to answer, “Do you want Catalonia to be a state?” was the first and in the case of a positive response, voters were asked: “Do you want Catalonia to be an independent state?”
“Yes-no” response obtained 10.11 percent; “no-no” 4.55 percent; and blank votes accounted for 0.56 percent, with 88.44 percent of the votes counted.
President of Catalonia, Artur Mas, called the symbolic vote on independence “a complete success” with “clearly more than two million people” participating despite the veto imposed by Madrid.
“Let no one forget, especially the Spanish government, that Catalonia has once again shown that it wants to govern itself,” he said at a hearing in Barcelona after the vote. It is “a giant step in our legitimate aspiration to peacefully and freely decide our future.”… see more