Spain's top court rules independence referendum unconstitutional

Lester Mason
October 18, 2017

Jordi Cuixart and Jordi Sanchez are now behind bars in Spain as the fight for freedom continues in Catalunya.

The demonstration was against the jailing of two pro-independence activists.

Spain's top court ruled Tuesday that an independence referendum in Catalonia was unconstitutional, adding weight to government efforts to block the region from breaking away from the rest of the country but not persuading demonstrators demanding the release of two jailed separatist activists.

The Catalan regional parliament passed the so-called "self-determination referendum law" in early September. Regional leaders defied the Madrid-based central government and held the October 1 vote even after police seized millions of ballots and used force to close polling stations.

The Constitutional Court's ruling was not a surprise, with the Spanish government repeatedly insisting the referendum was illegal.

Catalonia's government spokesperson, Jordi Turull, told reporters Tuesday Catalonia would not "surrender" its secession bid and reiterated calls for talks with Madrid on what he called "a democratic mandate" for independence.

The central government in Madrid has threatened to put the region under direct central rule if it does not receive an adequate response by Thursday morning. Catalonia has its own language and distinct culture, and is deeply divided over independence.

Spain's national government has demanded that Cataluña's regional leaders clarify a declaration of independence and renounce it. Many opponents of independence boycotted the vote, reducing turnout to around 43 percent of eligible voters.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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