Catalan representatives over 9-N trial: “Voting can’t be considered a crime in any democratic country”
Barcelona (CNA).- The trial of several members of the previous Catalan Government for allowing the 9-N symbolic vote on independence in 2014 has provoked huge outrage not only amongst the citizens and the members of the Catalan executive but also amongst those parties which have openly expressed in favour of Catalonia’s right to decide. “Putting out the ballot boxes can’t be considered a crime in any democratic country”, stated Parliament’s President, Carme Forcadell, who joined former Catalan President, Artur Mas and Catalan Ministers Joana Ortega and Irene Rigau on their way to Barcelona’s High Court. “It is absolutely unheard of in Europe that a whole community, through its democratic representatives, is being prosecuted for voting”, lamented Catalan Minister for Foreign Affairs, Raül Romeva.
After having rallied around Mas, Ortega and Rigau on their way to Barcelona’s High Court, many political representatives expressed their outrage over the 9-N trial. “It is a mistake”, stated Forcadell and lamented that former members of the Catalan Government have to testify before the court “only for putting out the ballot boxes and allowing the citizens to express their opinion, responding to a majoritarian will”. Indeed, Forcadell herself is being prosecuted by the Spanish justice for alleged disobedience when allowing a debate on Catalonia’s independence in the Parliament over which she presides.
Romeva: “This is unheard of in Europe”
“This trial puts the essence of democracy at risk”, lamented Catalan Minister for Foreign Affairs, Raül Romeva. “It is absolutely unheard of in Europe that a whole community, through its democratic representatives, is being prosecuted for voting, which is the basis of the solution to political problems and is at the centre of the European construction” he pointed. “This is all about democracy and whoever doesn’t understand this it is because they don’t want to see it, because it is quite clear”, he added.
Rovira: “Democracy can’t be put on trial, it is only exercised”
Left wing pro-independence ERC’s general secretary, Marta Rovira, also lamented “another attempt” to put limits on democracy. “We confirm once again that democracy can’t be restricted nor put on trial; it can only be exercised”, she said. In front of Barcelona’s High Court, Rovira committed to doing “whatever it takes” and “altogether” in order to defend “democracy, the ballot boxes and the citizens’ right to decide where and how they want to live”.
CUP: “We will defend the upcoming referendum”
Radical left pro-independence CUP, the main partner of governing cross-party ‘Junts Pel Sí’, emphasised that they “always supported the 9-N”. “Likewise, we will support the referendum that will be held in the upcoming months”, stated CUP MP, Mireia Boya, in reference to the referendum that President Puigdemont has committed to call next September.
‘CSQP’: “The criminalisation of Catalan politics is inacceptable”
Alternative left alliance ‘Catalunya Sí que es Pot’, who have always expressed in favour of Catalonia’s right to decide and indeed for Catalonia’s independence, also supported the accused. “This is not about independence this is about democracy and we can’t lose the battle for democracy”, stated ‘Catalunya Sí que es Pot’ MP, Joan Josep Nuet.
PDeCat: “We won’t take a single step back”
“We will join them when and whenever it takes, we will be firm in launching the compromise we have ahead of us”, stated PDeCat (which is the new name for former liberal CDC) general coordinator, Marta Pascal. “Catalans have proved once again that we will be stubbornly standing and won’t take a single step back”, she said.