Catalonia Leaders Seek to Make Independence Referendum Binding

By Raphael Minder—The New York Times—October 2, 2017—

BARCELONA, Spain — A day after a referendum on independence for Catalonia that was marred by clashes between supporters and police officers, the Spanish region’s leaders were meeting on Monday to determine how to convert the vote into a state free from the rest of the country.

Carles Puigdemont, the Catalan leader, said late Sunday that Catalans had won the right to have their own state and that he would soon present the result of the referendum to the regional Parliament to make it binding.

The Catalan government announced that 90 percent of almost 2.3 million voters had voted in favor of independence. But several issues stood in the way of a consensus on the vote: The figures could not be independently verified, the voting registers were based on a census whose validity is contested and — most importantly — Spain’s constitutional court had ordered that the referendum be suspended.