The overwhelming majority of Catalans who participated in the banned referendum have voted in favor of independence from Spain, the Catalan government has announced.
Over two million Catalans, or 90.09 percent of those who voted said ‘Yes’ in Sunday’s referendum, regional authorities said. Only 7,87 percent, or 176,565 voters said ‘No’ when asked if they want to attain independence from Madrid.
The Catalan government said the result reflects only the ballots that “were not seized” during police raids on polling stations throughout the day.
“What kind of a democracy steals ballot boxes?” asked Vice President Oriol Junqueras, standing next to government representatives, Raul Romeva and Jordi Turull.
“We will be consistent with the democratic mandate that citizens have given us today,” he added. “Catalonia has won its right to be a new Republic, if this is what the Parliament decides.”
Of Catalonia’s 5.34 million voters, this represents a turnout of around 42.3 percent, excluding those whose ballots were confiscated and people who were prevented from voting by police.
The massive police crackdown “prevented” an estimated 770,000 people from voting, Catalan government board member Turull said during the vote result announcement.
Turull said out of the 844 people that suffered injuries from police brutality during the vote, 74 have already filed official complaints.
Romeva noted that during Sunday’s events, “everyone saw that on one side we saw violence and shame, and on the other we had democracy and dignity.”
“All the repression falls absolutely on the side of the government of Rajoy and the police forces that have been brought in for this purpose,” Romeva said, according to La Vanguardia.
The head of the regional government, Carles Puigdemont, earlier praised the courage millions of Catalan people, who, despite a violent police crackdown, took to the polling stations to vote.
At least 844 people were injured on Sunday after being attacked by police as they were exercising their democratic right to vote. At the same time least 33 officers were injured in clashes with voters, the Spanish interior ministry announced.
After polling stations in Catalonia closed, Spain’s Prime Minister announced that “no referendum” took place in the country, claiming the majority of Catalans “obeyed the law” and did not want to participate in the independence vote after Madrid branded it “illegal” and issued a poll ban. Rajoy praised officers for “performing their duty,” while the Spanish foreign minister called the police response “proportionate.”