Main unionist party calls on speaker to ‘stop paying attention to fugitives’
Pro-independence Esquerra says “important things” might happen on Tuesday
The main unionist party in Catalonia, Ciutadans, called on the Parliament speaker to “stop paying attention to fugitives,” referring to the deposed Catalan president, Carles Puigdemont, among others. Spokesman Carlos Carrizosa said that the investigated leaders abroad have “nothing to do with Catalan politics,” and went on to say that his party wants “a government that unblocks the situation.” Catalonia has been with no government since October 27, 2017, when the Spanish government removed the whole cabinet. The election on December 21 had to result in the formation of a new cabinet, but three months later the issue is still in a stalemate.
A spokesman for the People’s Party also criticized the pro-independence forces, saying that they are insisting on putting forward “impossible” candidates. The pressure on Junts per Catalunya, Esquerra and the far-left CUP to find a way out is shared by the non-aligned Catalunya en Comú – Podem candidacy. “Facing this crisis of governability, we hope that some people aren’t thinking of going on holiday for Easter,” said the party spokeswoman Elisenda Alamany.
“We’re outraged at this situation”
The Spanish judiciary has blocked two candidates for president so far, but there is no full unanimity in the pro-independence bloc either, with the CUP so far not supporting its allies’ plans for this term. Puigdemont’s candidacy, Junts per Catalunya, offered a vote of confidence in mid-term to convince the far-left party. Yet the unionists flatly rejected the proposal. “This is not the way,” said Salvador Illa, a spokesman for the Socialists. “We are outraged at this situation and we think it cannot go on any longer,” he said.
“Our candidate is Jordi Sànchez”
Yet despite the pressure, PDeCAT, the base party supporting Puigdemont’s ticket, stated on Monday that they will not change the current candidate for the post. “Our candidate is Jordi Sànchez and he will be so until the end,” said spokeswoman Maria Senserrich. Sànchez has been in prison for five months and, as candidate for president, he was denied permission to attend the investiture debate. His defense has appealed against the move and while the court considers its final decision on the matter, on Tuesday the judge will rule on a previous request for release. Sànchez will attend the hearing with little hope of his time behind bars coming to an end.
Tuesday “a key day”
Implicitly referring to the hearing on Tuesday, a spokesman for Esquerra party said that Tuesday “will be a key day and important things might happen.” Sergi Sabrià, an official of the left-wing force, said that they are “working to get CUP’s support.”