Spain must ‘vote in droves’


The Citizen (Gauteng) - - WORLD -

Strong show­ing if par­ties want to keep Cat­alo­nia part of his coun­try, Ra­joy says.

Spain’s prime min­is­ter, Mar­i­ano Ra­joy, hopes to de­feat sep­a­ratists in next month’s Cata­lan elec­tion – which will be dom­i­nated by re­gional law­mak­ers’ in­de­pen­dence drive – call­ing for a “mas­sive” turnout by vot­ers.

“We’re go­ing to work so that in­de­pen­dence groups don’t win,” Ra­joy told Span­ish ra­dio yes­ter­day.

The Cata­lan in­de­pen­dence cri­sis has trig­gered alarm in Brus­sels as the Euro­pean Union deals with the fall­out of Brexit. More than 2 400 busi­nesses have moved their le­gal head­quar­ters out of the re­gion as un­cer­tainty per­sists. Ra­joy dis­missed the gov­ern­ment of Cata­lan ex-leader Car­les Puigde­mont last month over his in­de­pen­dence bid, sus­pend­ing the re­gional par­lia­ment and or­gan­is­ing a new elec­tion.

The prime min­is­ter has been ral­ly­ing sup­port for his Pop­u­lar Party (PP) in the De­cem­ber 21 elec­tion. The PP only man­aged to fin­ish fifth in Cat­alo­nia’s 2015 elec­tion, which saw pro-sep­a­ratist groups gain power in the re­gion of 7.5 mil­lion peo­ple.

Yes­ter­day, Ra­joy is­sued “a call for mas­sive par­tic­i­pa­tion” from vot­ers on De­cem­ber 21 in the hope that par­ties in favour of keep­ing Cat­alo­nia part of Spain put in a strong show­ing.

Sev­eral for­mer Cata­lan Cab­i­net mem­bers are in jail over their role in ag­i­tat­ing for in­de­pen­dence, which is il­le­gal un­der Spain’s con­sti­tu­tion.

Ra­joy said there was no ban on de­tained of­fi­cials con­test­ing the re­gional vote.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.