Catalan Minister for Foreign Action, Institutional Relations and Transparency, Alfred Bosch denounced the violation of the right to vote that many Catalans living abroad suffer. In a media appearance this Thursday, Bosch announced that he had sent a letter to the Spanish Minister Foreign Affairs earlier this morning to express his concern on this matter.
Thus, the Minister called for this “scandalous and serious situation” to be solved as soon as possible. “Actions have to be taken in order to improve the way of managing the vote from abroad, such as implementing the electronic vote”, he said.
The turnout on the 28-A General elections for those Catalans living abroad dropped dramatically, reaching the lowest rate in years. Less than 8% of those Catalans who requested to vote could ultimately do so. “The turnout decrease is alarming. In 2003, the abroad turnout was at 18.6%. In 2015 elections, we were at a 7.5%”, Bosch lamented and added that “voting from abroad was easier in the 80’s and the 90’s than now”, Bosch lamented and added that “this is not because of the voter’s lack of interest in elections but for the difficulties to exercise this fundamental right instead”.
According to Bosch, the ‘requested vote’ system is one of the main causes of this fall in the rate of participation and pointed out that “the simple fact of having to request a vote is quite difficult to understand”. “It has to be suppressed”, he added.
Now the Catalan Office for Civil and Political Rights is collecting all the complaints from those Catalans who requested their vote but couldn’t do so. “First we have to explain it, denounce it and call for our representatives in the Spanish Congress and Senate to pressure Spain”, Bosch emphasised.
“Today we sent a letter to Spanish Minister Josep Borrell explaining him that we will insist on this question; because it is a problem we believe it has be solved whenever necessary and wherever necessary”. That’s why “the delegates of the Catalan Government abroad have gone to the Spanish Embassies in their respective countries with the same letter” in order “to show their intention of lobbing until this situation is solved.”