Spain's Central Electoral Commission has advised jailed Catalan politician Joaquim Forn that he has been chosen at random to officiate at a polling centre on Spain's general election day, April 28th. His partner, Laura Masvidal, shared this bureaucratic incident in an article published this Saturday in the newspaper Ara.
Masvidal explained that, on returning from Madrid where she had visited Forn in Soto del Real prison, she found the message waiting in the letter box: "I get home and I find the instruction from the saintly and sacred Electoral Commission: Joaquim Forn i Chiariello has been selected to be head clerk at a polling table. This is Spain! Maybe the judge will consider that this time, it's a good enough reason to release him", wrote Masvidal.
At elections in the Spanish state, voting centres are largely staffed by ordinary citizens who are chosen at random from the electoral roll. However, the regulations also provide that there are several valid reasons for not turning up for election-day duty despite being called - among those reasons, being imprisoned.
Forn has been in preventive prison since November 2017 and is now on trial in Spain's Supreme Court along with 11 other pro-independence leaders, on charges that include rebellion and sedition, relating to the organization of a vote - the Catalan independence referendum.
The former Catalan interior minister is also standing for the mayoralty of Barcelona in the municipal elections to be held on May 26th.