Catalonia: more than half of polling stations sealed
Police officers in front of a school in Barcelona, September 30, 2017
The police have sealed more than half of the 2,300 polling stations in Catalonia, where the independence authorities want to hold a banned referendum on Sunday, the Spanish government official said on Saturday.
“Of the 2,315 polling stations (…) 1,300 have already been sealed” by the Catalan police, prefect Enric Millo told the foreign press.
He pointed out that 163 of these sealed offices were occupied by activists who had the right to go out but no one was allowed to enter.
The Spanish court ordered the closure of schools and other premises that could be used to host Sunday’s prohibited consultation.
It also ordered the regional police, the Mossos d’Esquadra, to monitor the entry of any electoral material and confiscate it if necessary.
Since Friday night groups of citizens began to occupy polling stations, mainly schools, to prevent their closure, the Mossos visit them to inform them that they will have to leave before 06H00 (04H00 GMT) on Sunday.
The police were nevertheless ordered not to use force.
The people in the already sealed offices “are invited to leave,” “we do not believe it is necessary” to expel them, said Millo.