Catalan referendum: Preliminary results see 90 percent in favor of independence

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Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont announced in a televised statement that the Spanish region has won the right to statehood following a contentious referendum that was marred by violence. 

According to region’s authorities, some 90 percent of the 2.26 million Catalans who voted on Sunday backed independence. Catalonia has approximately 5.3 million registered voters, meaning that the turnout was somewhere in the neighborhood of 42.6 percent.

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Catalan spokesperson said that more than 750,000 votes could not be counted because polling stations were closed and ballot boxes were confiscated.

Spain’s constitutional court had banned the vote and hundreds of people were injured as riot police used force to try to block voting. BBC reported that police officers seized ballot papers and boxes at polling stations.

According to the Catalan department of health, a total of 761 people were injured in the unrest. At least 10 police officers are said to have been injured as well.

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Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said earlier the referendum “only served to cause serious harm to coexistence” among Spaniards, but he is “not going to close any door” to dialogue.

Earlier on Sunday, FC Barcelona’s La Liga match against Las Palmas was played at an empty Camp Nou after the Catalan club’s request for the match to be postponed due to unrest was rejected.

EPA-EFE/Alejandro Garcia

Club President Josep Maria Bartomeu told media that Barcelona was threatened with a six-point deduction if they did not play the game. According to Bartomeu, the club decided 20 minutes before the kick-off to play the game behind closed doors, leaving thousands of supporters stranded outside.