Catalonia takes a step towards repeat elections

ALBERTO ESTEVEZ

Leader of Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya (ERC), Oriol Junqueras, during a press briefing on the results of Catalonia's parliamentary elections, in Barcelona, northeastern Spain, 28 September 2015. The coalition of separatists represented by Junts pel Si group won the majority of seats in the 27S regional polls with a total of 62 seats in the 135-member Parliament, but failed to obtain the 68 seats requested for an independence bid.

Catalonia takes a step towards repeat elections


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The political alliance of separatist parties in Catalonia is no longer solid and the region may be going to the polls.

On Monday, the Catalan Republican Left (ERC) rejected a second attempt by Junts per Catalunya to nominate Carles Puigdemont as the next Catalan premier.

From a prison cell in pre-trial custody in Madrid, ECR’s leader Oriol Junqueras wants to avoid fresh elections but also a confrontation with Spanish law. The ECR’s position is that Catalonia must be able to form an effective government and restore home rule. Catalonia is run from Madrid since the evocation of Article 155 of the Spanish Constitution in 2017.

The junior coalition partner of the separatist alliance – the anti-capitalist CUP – is also reluctant to trust Puigdemont with a new mandate.

Last week the Catalan parliament approved a legal amendment to the Presidency Law that would allow Puigdemont to be declared a premier, even if he remained a fugitive. However, that vote does not translate into a vote of confidence for his premiership.

Spain’s Constitutional Court has already made clear that a premier can’t be remotely appointed. Puigdemont is currently in Germany awaiting a court’s decision on whether he will be extradited to Spain to face charges of rebellion and misuse of public funds to organize an illegal secession referendum.

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