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Catalan President: left-wing pro-independence ERC is not honouring elections agreement

The Catalan Government President and leader of the centre-right pro-Catalan State coalition CiU, Artur Mas, complained on Wednesday that his ally, the left-wing pro-independence party ERC, is not fully honouring their agreement to call elections on 27 September, which should become a 'de facto' vote on independence. According to Mas, the ERC is not offering its full parliamentary support to the Government. "There is an agreement signed in January, and it is also an agreement that talks about stability until elections are called" and "some [parliamentary] votes are being lost, which harm such a stability agreement", he said. Furthermore, he stated that elections will be "expectedly" held on 27 September and did not rule out the option of running in a cross-party list yet. The leader of the left-wing party, Oriol Junqueras, replied that the ERC is honouring the agreement and that Catalans will vote on 27 September.

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22 April 2015 10:48 PM

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ACN

Barcelona (ACN).- The President of the Catalan Government and leader of the centre-right pro-Catalan State coalition CiU, Artur Mas, complained on Wednesday that his ally, the left-wing pro-independence party ERC, is not fully honouring their agreement to call elections on 27 September, which should become a 'de facto' vote on independence. According to Mas, the ERC is not offering its full parliamentary support to the Government. "There is an agreement signed in January, and it is also an agreement that talks about stability until elections are called" and "some [parliamentary] votes are being lost, which harm such a stability agreement", he said. According to the Catalan President, the ERC "does not respect the agreement 100% and at all moments". Furthermore, he stated that elections will be "expectedly" held on 27 September and added that running in a cross-party list cannot be totally ruled out yet. The leader of the left-wing party, Oriol Junqueras, replied that the ERC is honouring the agreement. He also highlighted that Catalans will vote on their future on 27 September.


In an interview with the El Punt Avui Televisió broadcaster, Artur Mas, said he is not fully satisfied with how the ERC is respecting the agreement they signed on 14 January last. This agreement is extremely important, since it sets the date for the Catalan Parliament elections, which will be transformed into a 'de facto' plebiscite on independence from Spain. This is the last resort left to hold such a vote with full legal and democratic guarantees, taking into account the Spanish Government's unilateral blocking attitude of the last few years, ignoring the mandate from the last Catalan elections, in which some 80% of the MPs supported a legal self-determination vote. However, unlike the case of Scotland and the UK, the Spanish Government has refused to sit and talk about the issue, imposing a restrictive, centralist and Spanish nationalist interpretation of the Constitution.

The agreement between Mas and Junqueras was not only about the elections and their date. It was foresaw almost 8 months of parliamentary stability in order to pass pending laws and reforms. In addition, during this period, the Catalan Government would also start to design the embryos of the basic state structures needed to become a state, such as a tax administration and a social security system. In the case that Catalans vote for a majority of pro-independence parties, these so-called "state structures" should be enlarged and gradually take over greater responsibilities, as negotiations with Spanish and EU authorities move forward.

The Catalan President complained about the last part, highlighting that the ERC has not always backed the Government or the CiU's position in Parliament over these last months. On top of this, Mas contributed to create some doubts around the certainty that elections will in fact be held on 27 September. For legal reasons, the decree cannot be signed and issued until just a few weeks before the elections, and therefore at this stage the commitment to hold the elections on this day is political and not legal.

The Catalan President linked the parliamentary stability to the calling of elections, and said that "if nothing changes, I will keep my word". "There are no reasons in this moment to set out something else from what was agreed upon, and therefore elections will be expectedly held in September, and I have the will to do it", he stated. However, he also complained about the ERC not fully respecting the agreement, which can be interpreted as a small warning to his parliamentary ally but electoral rival.

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  • The Catalan President, Artur Mas, on Tuesday (by R. Garrido)

  • The Catalan President, Artur Mas, on Tuesday (by R. Garrido)