Spanish Constitutional Court rules Catalan independence referendum illegal

Source: Xinhua| 2017-10-17 23:44:35|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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MADRID, Oct. 17 (Xinhua) -- The Spanish Constitutional Court on Tuesday ruled that the law passed by the Catalan Regional Assembly regarding the Oct. 1 independence referendum is unconstitutional.

This ruling followed the decision made by the Court on Sept. 7 to temporarily suspend the law, and with it the referendum, for the time it took for them to reach Tuesday's definitive conclusion, which was made with a unanimous verdict.

The Court commented in its summary that the referendum was "one of the biggest affronts to the Spanish Constitution from a regional parliament which can be conceived in a democratic State of law".

The verdict comes 17 days after the referendum, which went ahead despite being suspended and 48 hours before the time limit set by Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy for Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont to clarify if he has actually declared the independence of the region in the wake of a vote in which 90 percent of the 2.2 million Catalans who voted to separate from Spain.

If Puigdemont fails to give an answer and refuses to back down by Thursday, if he has indeed declared independence, Rajoy he has said he will begin taking steps to activate Article 155 of the Spanish Constitution to suspend Catalan autonomy.

Catalan government spokesman Jordi Turell said on Tuesday that Puigdemont would "not alter" his current position but would again offer dialogue to Rajoy on Thursday.