Court Rules Catalonia Elections Must Be Held Next Month

ANC Calls For Rally Demanding An Independent Government In Catalonia - Image Source: Pixabay

A BARCELONA court has ruled that next month’s scheduled Catalonia elections must be held despite an earlier decision to postpone voting due to Covid concerns.

Barcelona’s Superior Court of Justice of Catalonia (TSJC) ruled on Friday (January 29th) that the region’s elections must be held on February 8th, despite an earlier decision by Catalan lawmakers to postpone voting until May due to Covid concerns.

The move has been criticised by prominent members of Catalonia’s government, including Bernat Sole – the Minister responsible for elections – who said that while schools and polling stations may meet Covid safety standards, the mobilisation of 5.5 million voters is dangerous in the midst of a deadly pandemic.

The vice president of Catalonia’s Generalitat (government), Pere Aragones, slammed the TSJC for “imposing” the February elections in the midst of Covid’s “full third-wave”. It is not yet clear whether the regional government, led by a coalition of two pro-independence parties, will appeal the court’s decision.

Due to the inability of many vulnerable and infected citizens to go to the polls due to the coronavirus, Catalonia has rolled out ambitious mail voting schemes. Some 120,000 voters have registered for the programme, while another 70,000 are in the process of applying.

Catalonian politics is dominated by the debate between those who wish the large region to gain independence from Spain and those who want to remain with the rest of the country. The lengthy prison sentences currently being served by political leaders who staged an illegal 2017 independence referendum are recurring topics of debate. This year some analysts believe that the Covid-19 pandemic may have exacerbated pro-independence sentiment among Catalan voters.

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Oisin Sweeney

Oisin is an Irish writer based in Seville, the sunny capital of Andalucia. After starting his working life as a bookseller, he moved into journalism and cut his teeth as a reporter at one of Ireland's biggest news websites. Since joining Euro Weekly News in November, he has enjoyed covering the latest stories from Seville, Spain and further afield - with special interests in crime, cybersecurity, and European politics. Anyone who can pronounce his name first try gets a free cerveza...