Spain: Former Catalan leader Artur Mas casts vote

Former President of the Catalan Government Artur Mas cast his vote in the Catalan regional election on Thursday, in a Barcelona polling station. The ex-president voted alongside his wife Helena Rakosnik at the Infant of Jesus School at 11:30 (GMT+1). Mas denounced the Spanish government’s imprisonment of former Catalan government officials, saying, “you simply can’t be in prison for having... Еще certain ideas.” Calling the election “a very real photograph of Catalan society at this moment,” Mas — leader of the Catalan Generalitat between 2010 and 2015 — called on the result to be respected. He also compared the tranquility of Thursday’s voting to the clashes which occurred during the October 1 independence referendum, stating that such calmness “should be the norm.” Catalans are voting for 135 lawmakers in the regional parliament, which has been dominated by pro-independence parties since 2015. The elections are expected to determine the course of a secession crisis that escalated after the October 1 Catalan independence referendum. According to opinion polls, either the pro-independence Republican Left of Catalonia (ERC) or the centrist, anti-independence Ciutadans (Ciudadanos) could emerge from Thursday's election as the largest party.

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