Sep 30, 2017
Catalan referendum: Police seal off polling stations
Spanish national police have sealed off 1,300 of 2,315 schools in Catalonia designated as polling stations for the banned independence referendum, the government in Madrid says. Tens of thousands of people are expected to vote in Sunday's ballot, which has been declared illegal by Spain's Constitutional Court. Officers from the Catalan regional police have been instructed to assist, but also told not to use force. Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont told Reuters news agency that the referendum would go ahead. "Everything is prepared at the more than 2,000 voting points so they have ballot boxes and voting slips, and have everything people need to express their opinion," he said. Pressure for a vote on self-determination has grown over the past five years but in the 2015 regional election, won by an alliance of pro-independence parties, about 40% of voters backed parties loyal to Spain.
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