Spain state advisor supports move to block Catalonia independence vote
Spain state advisor supports move to block Catalonia independence vote

[JURIST] The Spanish state adviser on Thursday announced support for a veto of a watered-down Catalan vote on independence planned for November 9, making it likely that the Spanish government will attempt to have the Catalan “consultation of citizens” blocked by the courts. Spain’s Council of State unanimously decided that the government should ask the Constitutional Court [official websites, in Spanish] to declare the vote illegal. Earlier this month, the region of Catalonia scrapped plans [JURIST report] for a non-binding November 9 referendum on independence from Spain after the Constitutional court declared such a vote unconstitutional. Soon after Catalan president Artur Mas [official website, in Catalan] announced plans for an alternative consultation on the same day. The “consultation of citizens” will be equally non-binding and open to anyone who wants to cast their ballot. Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy [official website, in Spanish] and cabinet ministers will decide [Reuters report] on whether the government will take matters to the Constitutional Court by Friday.

Catalan independence has been a contentious issue in recent years. The November referendum planned to ask voters if they want Catalonia to become a state, and, in the case of an affirmative response, if they want this state to be independent. Last month Catalan president Artur Mas signed a decree [JURIST report] calling for a referendum on secession and independence from Spain, inciting confrontation from Spain’s central government in Madrid. In February Spain’s parliament rejected [JURIST report] Catalonia’s proposed November referendum.