This afternoon, President Puigdemont and the vice-president of the Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet and member of the Tunisian Human Rights League, Ahmed Galai, declared their support for the Catalan referendum in an official statement made from the Palau de la Generalitat during the presentation of the Let Catalans Vote manifesto.
The manifesto, supported by some fifty renowned figures from around the world including five Nobel Peace Prize laureates, acknowledges that a majority of Catalans have “repeatedly expressed in different ways the wish to exercise their democratic right to vote on their political future”.
The text also notes that preventing Catalans from voting “seems to contradict the principles that inspire democratic societies”. For this reason, the signatories of the manifesto urge the Spanish and Catalan governments “to work together to allow the citizens of Catalonia to vote on their political future and then negotiate in good faith based on the result”.
On this subject, the President of the Catalan Government affirmed that in democracy “problems are resolved by voting, either by elections or through a referendum. Voting is the best tool people have to express their opinion, to change things or leave them as they are”. “That is why the Government of Catalonia has convened a referendum on October 1 to find out what future Catalans want for their country”, he continued.
According to the Puigdemont, in a globalised world “democracy is a value we must encourage to guarantee freedom, human rights and social harmony". For this reason, the President assured that on October 1 “a referendum will be held with all the guarantees, it will be internationally recognized and the result will be binding”. “Any attempt to prevent it, whether judicially or politically, is destined to fail because democracy is unstoppable”, he added.
In this regard, the 2015 Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Ahmed Galai, considered the October 1 referendum to be “the best opportunity to defend and preserve democratic principles and the values of peace in the search for a negotiated solution to the political conflict existing between Catalonia and the Spanish State”.
In his concluding remarks, Galai affirmed that ballot boxes “can never be seen as a problem, nor the cause of a conflict. Neither can the vote on October 1. Ballot boxes are the civilised and democratic solution, and there is no reason for the October 1 vote to be an exception”.