How can the Rodalies incident affect the 2024 Catalan elections?

The railway chaos that affects the Rodalias network is having a full impact on election day.

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
11 May 2024 Saturday 22:46
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How can the Rodalies incident affect the 2024 Catalan elections?

The railway chaos that affects the Rodalias network is having a full impact on election day. To the point that if the Electoral Board considered that this fact affects citizens' right to vote, it could consider taking measures such as extending the day, for example. At the moment, neither the Government nor any party has requested it, but they have demanded that those responsible for railway transport resolve the incident as soon as possible.

The railway manager Adif has reported that at four in the morning today there was a new theft of copper in the electrification system in the area of ​​the Moncada Bifurcación station (Barcelona), which has led to "several fires in the wiring of the signaling system and enclaves in the surroundings” of the Catalan capital, which affects “all the lines of the commuter network.”

Civil Protection indicates in a statement that "at this time there is no forecast to restore the situation" and that "ADIF services are carrying out a review of the entire electrical circuit to solve the incident."

The vice-president of the Generalitat, Laura Vilagrà, has affirmed this Sunday that "the chaos" since morning in Rodalies affects the right to vote on the day of the Catalan elections.

At a press conference in Parliament, he assured that the global incidents of Rodalies due to copper theft "will undoubtedly affect the right to vote."

Vilagrà has demanded that the Minister of Transport, Óscar Puente, act and restore the situation as soon as possible because “the situation is serious and unsustainable.”

“It is intolerable, it is unacceptable that we find ourselves in this situation every day, but also today on an important day that can affect the right to vote,” he added.

Can the chaos of Rodalíes affect citizens' right to vote? Some candidates think so.

The first to denounce it was Carles Puigdemont, but others such as Pere Aragonès and Laia Estrada have joined. The most forceful has been the candidate of Commons Sumar for president of the Generalitat, Jéssica Albiach,

Albiach considered it “a new episode of disaster” in Cercanías and did not rule out asking that the polling stations close later to compensate for mobility problems. “We must guarantee access to mobility and movement for everyone,” he claimed, although he had to “first see what the impacts are” of the train stoppage. A request to extend the voting period “is a scenario that cannot be ruled out,” he said.

But what consequences can this situation have? According to electoral law expert Marc Marsal, the closure of the schools could be delayed. “If during the day it is seen that there are many displaced voters and Renfe does not adopt the necessary measures to guarantee the right to vote, it is an element that can be taken into account to extend voting hours,” he said in an interview on the Via program. lliure of RAC1.

After 7:00 p.m., it has become known that the Central Electoral Board leaves it in the hands of the provincial boards to extend the voting hours due to the paralysis of Rodalies.