Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Electoral rigging or genuine mistake?

By now we all know about the results of the European elections in the UK and in Spain.
But what is not getting any decent media coverage is what seems to have happened in Spain. At this point, it is not clear whether this is a genuine “technology” error or something more sinister.
However, the more I read, the more I suspect it is the latter.

Not surprisingly, the Spanish media is being very quiet about this. Only the Catalan and Basque media is getting this issue any type of coverage.

It appears that votes for Iniciativa Internacionalista are not being attributed to this party. This, let’s not forget, is the party that the Spanish government tried to illegalise because of some dubious, non-existent connection with ETA.

Vilaweb (cat) has this article about it.
Avui (cat) also has an article.
The Avui article is scary. Apparently, non only II has been denied rightful votes, but also ERC votes in Catalonia have been attributed to Spanish fascist parties, even in the smallest villages in the countryside.

This is a scandal of major proportions.

The Avui article was top headline news at noon, but over time it has been displaced by other news. It would not be the first time there has been “instructions” from central government to the media as to how to report an event –as it happened with the train bombs in Madrid in 2004.

So far, I have not found any articles in the mainstream Spanish media.
(happy to add links if you find any)

The on-line translators on the right hand side will provide the gist of the issue in English, French, Spanish and other languages.

I have posted before how Spanish democracy is deficient and the sorry legacy of Franco’s henchmen and the cowardice of our politicians, but this really takes the biscuit and puts Spain in the same league as a banana republic.

I wonder when/if the BBC and our esteemed correspondents for the British media in Spain will pick up this issue.

Vilaweb (cat)
Avui (cat)
Gara (cas) Editorial
Observers thrown out of the recount in Barcelona (Gara -cas)
Público (cas) -well hidden
Tribuna (cat)
EITB (eng)

Victor Alexandre (cat)
The Badrash (eng)
Eguren Zone (cas)
Omnis Obstat (cat)
Racó Català (cat) (recount) (map of irregularities)


Miquel Marzabal Galano said...

So why don't the parties that have been affected go to a lawyer? or to the EU?
If this is true the affected parties would win a trial easily.
They are the first who should work for justice, aren't they?
And if Spain does not listen, they should go to the EU.
I am not an expert on this matter, but it seems to me that our politicians should report any injustice is being made to them to European tribunals. Complain that Spanish democracy is not fair. Why don't they do this?
Why do they shut their mouth?

Rab said...

The legal route would lead to nowhere -IF this is electoral fraud, the state responsible for it is not going to allow one of its constituent parts to do anything about it, other than pronounce that the elections were fair and legitimate.

The big problem I have with this story is why the media is so quiet about it. It is a massive failure of the so-called fourth state.
It is puzzling that none of the Spanish newspapers are conducting any "investigative journalism" on something that any observer would consider either fraud or negligence. It is this silence, this media blackout, what is most disturbing.

If it had happened in any other country, it would be headline news in the Spanish press.

I added Victor Alexandre's article in the updated links. He is one of the few voices that can speak up freely about issues, without having to bow to the establishment.

Official release of the results is scheduled for the 25th June, 3 weeks after polling date. I don't know of any other EU state where election results take so long. We will wait and see, but it does look odd -more so when people are thrown out of the recounting process as it happened in Barcelona.

Miquel Marzabal Galano said...

Well, it is clear that Spain today, in 2009 still IS different.
The Spanish and Catalan media are not independent at all. Censureship is there, and we have seen this after the football match of 'copa del rei'.
Catalan TV and newspapers are today ruled by PSOE.
Catalan media is embracing Spanish culture and Spanish media avoids and deletes any sign of the 'C' word (=Catalonia) from anything they might be from Catalonia. And the process of cultural holocaust is spreading silently indeed. My only hope is that someone comes up with balls like Alfons Lopez Tena and the wishes of most Catalan citizens gets a proper representation in the Catalan parliament. For now, I'll wait and spread the word of common sense: independence for Catalonia.
But I still don't understand how a country that is supposed to be a democracy can get away with what they are doing.