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Pro-independence activist leader defends ANC's political role

Catalan National Assembly's Elisenda Paluzie says "essence" of organization is to influence politics while maintaining "neutrality" and "non-partisanship"

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07 August 2019 01:08 PM

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ACN | Barcelona

Catalan National Assembly (ACN) president, Elisenda Paluzie, has defended the pro-independence organization she heads, saying its "essence" has always been to influence the political agenda "from the outside."

Paluzie made her comments in response to criticism from former pro-independence Esquerra party (ERC) MP, Joan Tardà, that the assembly "is mistaken" in acting as an "anti-establishment movement."

Talking on Wednesday, Paluzie said the ANC has always been "careful" to maintain its "neutrality" and "non-partisanship," and she rebuked ERC for its "thin skin" when her "harshest" criticism has been for the pro-independence Junts per Catalunya party (JxCat).

The ANC head insisted that the organization had played a key role in pressuring political parties, such as the "President, give us ballot boxes" campaign in the run-up to the non-binding self-determination referendum held on November 9, 2014.

Paluzie also defended the ANC's criticisms of the political parties that support a Catalan republic, which the activist leader says "are not doing things that are coherent for achieving independence."

Meanwhile, the ANC leader dismissed a possible solution of an amnesty for the Catalan independence leaders facing prison sentences for organizing the October 1, 2017, referendum, due to the involvement of international courts in their cases.

Accusing the Spanish authorities of trying to get pro-independence supporters to abandon their aims and believe they are "impossible and illegal," Paluzie said the solution is to stick to peaceful and democratic means through "electoral majorities and demonstrations."

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  • Elisenda Paluzie, president of the Catalan National Assembly, in a press conference on June 20, 2019. (Photo: Sílvia Jardí)

  • Elisenda Paluzie, president of the Catalan National Assembly, in a press conference on June 20, 2019. (Photo: Sílvia Jardí)

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