There will be no vote in Catalonia on Sunday, Spanish government asserts

COMPILED FROM WIRE SERVICES
ISTANBUL
Published 29.09.2017 15:12
Updated 29.09.2017 15:20
Spain's Education Minister Inigo Mendez de Vigo poses as he arrives to attend his first cabinet meeting at the Moncloa Palace in Madrid, November 4, 2016. (REUTERS Photo)
Spain's Education Minister Inigo Mendez de Vigo poses as he arrives to attend his first cabinet meeting at the Moncloa Palace in Madrid, November 4, 2016. (REUTERS Photo)

A planned vote in Catalonia on Sunday on independence from Spain will not go ahead, Spain's government spokesman Inigo Mendez de Vigo said on Friday.

"I insist that there will be no referendum on Oct. 1," Mendez de Vigo said during a press conference following the weekly cabinet meeting, reiterating the government's position that the vote was illegal.

The spokesman's comments come after Catalonia's vice president said more than six out of ten voters are expected to cast ballots during the referendum despite the Spanish government's aggressive efforts to stop the vote.

Oriol Junqueras said Friday that Catalan citizens will be able to vote on Sunday "even if somebody takes voting stations by assault and tries to avoid something as natural as placing a voting slip in a ballot."

Spain's Constitution says that only the nation's government can call a referendum on sovereignty. Police forces acting on judges' orders have seized ballots and arrested regional officials in an unprecedented crackdown.

Junqueras says an internal poll showed that more than 60 percent of the 5.3 million eligible voters plan to cast ballots.

He displayed a prototype of the plastic ballot boxes planned for more than 2,300 voting stations.

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