Spanish court cancels Catalonia's vote on independence


The Spanish constitutional court rules the symbolic vote on independence unconstitutional

MADRID, Spain – Spain’s constitutional court has canceled Catalonia’s Nov. 9 independence vote in 2014, declaring it unconstitutional. 

The court announced Thursday that it had unanimously decided to cancel the referendum on the grounds that it was unconstitutional and violated authorizations that belonged solely to the Spanish government. 

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy had earlier in the day called Catalonia’s Nov. 9 independence vote a “complete failure”.

“Spain will not change its position nor will we offer any special plan for Catalonia’s independence,” Rajoy said, speaking at a press conference.

Sunday’s symbolic consultation was a failure, Rajoy said, since two thirds of Catalans, in Spain and abroad, did not vote. 

“It was not a democratic vote, it was an act of political propaganda,” Rajoy said.

Rajoy’s remarks came a day after the president of the Catalan government, Artur Mas, urged the Spanish prime minister to undertake the necessary steps to allow Catalans to hold a legal independence referendum.

Rajoy rejected any possibility for a referendum for independence. 

“The parliament of Catalonia is empowered to initiate a process of constitutional reform. It is the only legal way to approach this process, and Mas knows this,” he said.

Rajoy said Mas must respect the decisions of the constitutional court of Spain which prohibited Catalonia’s consultation. “What was illegal one year ago remains illegal today,” Rajoy said.

On Nov. 9, 2014 about 1.6 million Catalans who took part in the symbolic vote chose secession from Spain.

The turnout to the vote was 37 percent.