Barcelona Electoral Commission bans yellow lighting of fountains and facades

Catalan MonitorNews Roundup

Photo: A barcelona fountain lit in yellow light

November 29, 2017

The Barcelona Electoral Board has ruled that the town’s fountains and facades cannot be lit in yellow, that is to say, the colour with which they have been lit since the end of last week thanks to an agreement between the municipal parties BComú, PDECat and ERC. The commission upheld the complaint of the PP (Partido Popular) and Ciutadans (Citizens Party), who presented an appeal that argued that this action was favorable to certain candidatures for the 21-D elections.

The board refers to article 50.2 of the LOREG and points out that public authorities cannot use images or expressions ‘coincident or similar to those used by a concurrent entity in their campaigns in the elections’.

The defense stated that the lighting had no partisan interest, and intended to show solidarity with the families of the members of the government and the entities who were imprisoned.

The city council will abide by the resolution
The municipal government will abide by the resolution of the electoral board, but says that it considers it ‘quite ridiculous’ that there are political forces such as Cs, PP or PSC that are dedicated to ‘pursuing’ these legal actions. ‘They think that changing the colour of a fountain will restore the democratic normality of the country and the city.’ Laia Ortiz, second lieutenant mayor, said that recent political events were “intolerable”, and urged the three plaintiff parties to restore the political normality instead of presenting petty complaints. “I do not know if the problem is really in fountains or with the fact that there are people in prison for political reasons,” she said.

In her view, the main cause for party concern ought to be ensuring that everyone can campaign normally, including those who are now in jail. In any case, she thinks that despite the yellow lights going out, ‘there are certain things which simply cannot be switched off’.

Previous bans
The Barcelona Electoral Board three days ago forced Barcelona City Council to withdraw the banner that demanded the freedom of the political prisoners hanging on the balcony and all the slogans and posters of this kind that had been hanging in the institutional buildings . On the same day, the Spanish Electoral Board prohibited the members of the electoral committees and representatives of the parties running for elections on December 21 from wearing yellow bows to show support for the prisoners.

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