Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 20th 2014 Contents A19
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decision to reject independence, lawmakers in
Spain's Catalonia region voted
overwhelmingly yesterday to give their leader
the power to call a secession referendum that
the central government in Madrid has
denounced as illegal.
Catalonia's regional president, Artur Mas,
supported a Yes vote in Scotland, but
stressed Catalans simply wanted the same
chance as the Scots. Spanish Prime Minister
Mariano Rajoy has said he will block a
planned November 9 vote in the wealthy
northeastern region of 7.5 million people.
Later yesterday, the Catalan parliament voted
106-28 to give him the power to call a
referendum. Mas didn't say when he would
sign the decree to set the vote date.
Unlike the Scotland vote, the referendum in
Catalonia wouldn't result in secession. It
would ask Catalans whether they favor
secession. If the answer is Yes, Mas says that
would give him a political mandate to
negotiate a path toward independence. (AP)
Scotland will remain part of the United King-
dom---along with England, Wales and Northern
A majority of voters rejected the possibility of
Scotland breaking away and becoming an inde-
Shortly afterward, Alex Salmond, the Scottish
first minister and leader of the pro-independence
Scottish National Party, announced his resignation
from both posts, effective in November.
Salmond said he was proud of the campaign
for independence, and that now was the time to
hold the UK leadership to its promises of shifting
more autonomy to Scotland.
"We now have the opportunity to hold West-
minster s feet to the fire on the "vow" that they
have made to devolve further meaningful power
to Scotland," he said in a statement. "This places
Scotland in a very strong position."
UK Prime Minister David Cameron welcomed
Scotland s decision in a televised statement outside
10 Downing Street, saying it was a clear result.
"Like millions of other people, I am delighted,"
Cameron said he would have been heartbroken
to see the United Kingdom broken up---but paid
tribute to the efforts of both sides in the cam-
"We hear you," he said to those who voted for
independence, adding this was an opportunity to
change the way people in the United Kingdom
are governed, and "change it for the better."
Salmond accepted defeat in an earlier televised
statement---and urged the rest of the pro-inde-
pendence camp to do the same.
His government has delivered on devolution in
the past and will deliver on it again, Cameron
He thanked Scotland "for 1.6 million votes for
Scottish independence" and said the turnout was
one of the highest in the democratic world for
any such vote.(CNN)
Scotland has voted to stay in the Unit-
ed Kingdom after voters decisively
With the results in from all 32 council
areas, the "No" side won with 2,001,926
votes over 1,617,989 for "Yes"
Scotland s First Minister Alex Salmond
called for unity and urged the unionist
parties to deliver on more powers.
Cameron said the three main unionist
parties at Westminster would now follow
through with their pledge of more powers
for the Scottish Parliament.
The prime minister also acknowledged
that the people of England, Wales and
Northern Ireland must have a bigger say
over their affairs.
And he promised a solution to the West
Lothian question---the fact that Scottish
MPs can vote on English issues at West-
minster, and not the other way round.
The result became a mathematical cer-
tainty at 6.08, as the returning officer in
Fife announced a comfortable No vote.
Shortly afterwards, Salmond said he
accepted the defeat and called for national
He told supporters: "The unionist par-
ties made vows late in the campaign to
devolve more powers to Scotland.
"Scotland will expect these to be hon-
oured in rapid course---as a reminder, we
have been promised a second reading of
a Scotland Bill by March 27 next year.
And the first minister said: "Whatever
else we can say about this referendum
campaign, we have touched sections of
the community who have never before
been touched by politics, these sections
of the community have touched us and
touched the political process."
In a rallying call to his supporters,
Salmond urged the Yes voters to reflect
on how far they had come."I don t think
any of us, whenever we entered politics,
would have thought such a thing to be
either credible or possible," he said.
He also claimed the campaign had put
"a scare and a fear of enormous propor-
tions" at the heart of the Westminster
Speaking in Downing Street, Cameron
said the result was decisive.
He said: "Now the debate has been
settled for a generation, or as Alex
Salmond has said: Perhaps for a life-
"So there can be no disputes, no re-
runs; we have heard the will of the Scot-
tish people." (CNN)
A lone YES campaign supporter walks down a street in Edinburgh after the result of the Scottish independence referendum, Scotland,
yesterday. Scottish voters have rejected independence and decided that Scotland will remain part of the United Kingdom. AP PHOTO
Salmond to quit
as Scottish leader
Scotland votes 'No'
Catalonia lawmakers vote 'yes' to secession referendum
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