SPAIN'S LEADERS: STOP BLOCKING THE PROCLAMATION OF PUIGDEMONT AS PRESIDENT OF CATALONIA!

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THIS PETITION ASKS FOR YOUR SUPPORT TO DEMAND THE SPANISH GOVERNMENT TO STOP BLOCKING THE PROCLAMATION OF CARLES PUIGDEMONT AS PRESIDENT OF CATALONIA. PRESIDENT PUIGDEMONT IS LEGITIMATELY PROPOSED AS A CANDIDATE FOR THE PRESIDENCY BY THE WINNING COALITION, FOLLOWING THE RESULTS OF THE ELECTIONS HELD ON DECEMBER 21, 2017.

On October 1, 2017, Catalans voted massively in favor of independence from Spain in a referendum that the Spanish state declared illegal. Despite the Spanish government’s use of police violence to block people from voting (see https://www.cnn.com/videos/world/2017/10/01/spain-catalonia-referendum-vote-riot-police-soares.cnn/video/playlists/catalonia-independence-referendum-vote/ over 90% of voters supported independence. In response to people’s will, the Catalan parliament voted for independence two weeks later. Subsequently, Spain illegally dissolved the Catalan government, arrested several of its ministers, and called Catalan elections for December 21. Yet, even though pro-independence parties won that election with an absolute majority, the Spanish Government refuses to allow their candidate for the presidency, Carles Puigdemont, to be re-elected to office.

HELP CATALONIA TO REGAIN ITS LEGITIMATE GOVERNMENT BY SIGNING THIS PETITION. SUPPORT THE ELECTION OF CARLES PUIGDEMONT AS PRESIDENT OF CATALONIA.

 This petition may also be used to support all potential legal cases brought against the Spanish government to international courts, including the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) and the United Nations.

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 BACKGROUND

 On October 1, 2017, the Catalan people voted to separate from Spain and become an independent nation in a referendum declared illegal by the Spanish government, but which took place according to Catalan law. The Spanish Government used unprecedented police violence to try to close polling stations and stop the vote, yet, more than 2 million people voted, with 90% of those in favor of independence. The violence inflicted by the Spanish state made headlines around the world on the same day of the referendum (see: https://www.cnn.com/videos/world/2017/10/01/spain-catalonia-referendum-vote-riot-police-soares.cnn/video/playlists/catalonia-independence-referendum-vote/ and over 1,000 people, including minors and the elderly, needed hospital assistance due to the injuries inflicted by Spanish police. The Spanish government has never apologized and has actively opposed attempts to investigate these actions.

 Following the referendum, the Catalan Parliament voted to declare independence. In response, Spain arrested two civil society leaders—who remain in jail without bond to this day—on unsubstantiated charges. They suspended the Catalan government using an expedited process through Article 155 of the Spanish Constitution; yet Article 155 only allows a degree of temporary intervention of an autonomous community’s administration, never the complete suspension of its government. They also put the Catalan Vice-President, Oriol Junqueras, and eight other Catalan cabinet ministers in preventative prison, while Catalan President Carles Puigdemont and another four cabinet members left for Belgium. They have remained there ever since, in self-imposed exile to avoid arbitrary incarceration in Spain. 

 After taking over the Catalan government, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy called for snap elections in Catalonia on December 21, 2017, even though the Spanish Constitution does not give him that power. On election day, with an unprecedented 80% turnout, the pro-independence bloc won the elections by absolute majority, obtaining 70 of the 135 seats in Parliament. Within the pro-independence bloc, President Puigdemont's party was the one which obtained the most votes, and therefore those parties unanimously agreed that Carles Puigdemont would be legitimately proclaimed as the next Catalan President. Meanwhile, Rajoy’s party came in last place, obtaining only 4 seats.

 Ever since the victory of pro-independence parties in these elections, both the Spanish government and the Spanish Supreme Court have coordinated to illegally block the legitimate proclamation of Carles Puigdemont as president of Catalonia. The Spanish Government has crossed all kinds of red lines by publicly anticipating decisions which should have been taken solely and impartially by the Spanish Constitutional Court, by making phone calls to judges asking for specific actions from the Judiciary, by not respecting legal procedures and schedules and by pressuring the Court to issue rules for the Catalan Parliament that go beyond the legal powers of a court of law—as those powers are exclusive to the Parliament itself. The government has also used fear to influence the decisions taken by the Speaker of the Catalan Parliament, Roger Torrent, by issuing threats if he should put forward the candidacy of Puigdemont as President of Catalonia. For example, he was reminded by the spanish government, that his two children would suffer if he were to be put in prison because of this action.

 Remember that all peoples have the right to self-determination, a universal right  that is  prominently featured in Article I of the Charter of the United Nations. It is also mentioned in the American Declaration of Independence, where Jefferson wrote that "all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with inherent and unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness"; that the "just Powers" of government are established "by the Consent of the governed" to protect these rights; and that when government does not, "it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it, and to institute new Government."

 We, the Catalan people, have expressed throughout history our desire for peaceful self-government, a desire Spain has responded to with repeated instances of extreme violence and oppression.

 In short, the Spanish government seems prepared to impose its political agenda at all costs, without respect for the democratic rights and civil liberties of its own citizens. Rajoy's government is not respecting the outcome of the December elections he himself called, in an attempt to override the outcome of the October referendum in Catalonia.

 PLEASE HELP CATALONIA TO RECOVER ITS LEGITIMATE GOVERNMENT BY SIGNING THIS PETITION.

 

 



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