BARCELONA, December 21. /TASS/. A parliamentary election has kicked off in Spain’s Catalonia on Thursday. The election polls opened at 09:00 local time (11:00 Moscow time) and will be working until 20:00 (22:00 Moscow time) when the vote counting will start.
Spain’s government decided to hold a vote in late October. Madrid took this step in the wake of the largest crisis in the country’s democratic history that broke out following the declaration of independence by Catalonia’s parliament.
More than 5.5 mln people (about 225,000 of them living abroad) may take part in the vote. Overall, more than 2,600 voting polls will be operating in the region on the election day.
Polls show that the voting turnout may beat the record and exceed 80% this year. The first information is expected to be released at 13:45 (15:45 Moscow time). According to the results of the previous election held on September 27, 2015, the voting turnout was 74.95%.
On October 27, Catalonia’s parliament approved the resolution of Catalonia’s independence. In response, the Spanish Senate approved Madrid’s request to bring into force Article 155 of the Constitution that has never been used before and that makes it possible to restrict Catalonia’s self-governance.
After approving the article, Chairman of the Spanish cabinet of ministers Mariano Rajoy stated that a decision had been taken to relieve the region’s head, Carles Puigdemont, of his duties and ordered an election in the autonomous community for December 21.