How Saturday's mayor investitures will happen after last month's local elections

Councilors of Catalonia's 947 municipalities to appoint next heads of local councils 

Ada Colau sworn in as mayor of Barcelona on June 15, 2019
Ada Colau sworn in as mayor of Barcelona on June 15, 2019 / Gerard Artigas
Catalan News

Catalan News | @catalannews | Barcelona

June 15, 2023 03:34 PM

June 15, 2023 06:35 PM

Weeks after the May 28 local elections across Catalonia, it will now be time for the newly elected councilors to appoint the next mayors. Each council in each of the 947 Catalan municipalities in the territory will decide on Saturday, choosing between all possible contenders. The most voted candidate in the election will get the top post unless another one is able to garner an absolute majority of councilors.

Barcelona last municipality to vote for new mayor

Action will start at midday in 946 municipalities, all of them except for Barcelona, where everything will take place from 5pm, after far-right Vox did not appeal the Electoral Board's decision to consider voiding some of the nulled ballots.

While mayor investitures tend to be straightforward, Barcelona councilors will have a longer event. After the vote, and with the new mayor chosen, all the newly elected representatives will walk across the Plaça Sant Jaume square from the city hall to the Catalan government headquarters, where president Pere Aragonès will greet them.

Youngest and eldest councilors

As many city plenaries across Catalonia will see new councilors, the way to organize the first vote for politicians to decide who the next head of the local council will be is based on age. The youngest and the eldest politicians will be the ones in charge of double-checking all the credentials ahead of the first vote.

After that, each councilor will take the oath and receive an emblem recognizing them as elected.

Vote for mayor

Once all councilors have taken the oath, it is time for the most important moment of all: voting on the next mayor. Some municipalities across Catalonia will have it very easy, either because they have few politicians to choose from or even because a party has an absolute majority.

Yet, in some cities, the identity of the next mayor is not yet clear. This is the case of Barcelona itself, and also Ripoll, where far-right pro-independence Sílvia Orriols came first and the rest of parties are discussing a deal to prevent her from power. Others have an easier scenario, such as Badalona, due to the People's Party absolute majority.

In any case, all plenary sessions will follow the same scheme: the first step will see the youngest and eldest councilors asking each party mayor candidate if they want to submit their candidacy or withdraw it in plenary. All politicians will have a say, even if there is a majority in favor of another party.

After everybody has had their say, there will be a secret vote, where councilors will write on a paper the name of the person they want to be the next mayor.

If no candidate gets a majority of councilors backing the candidacy, the most voted candidate at the local elections will automatically be the mayor.

The new mayor will make a speech, and then Catalonia's anthem will play.

Filling the Sink podcast episode

The local elections on May 28 saw the Socialists surge to the top spot in Catalonia, but after being edged out in Barcelona by former mayor Xavier Trias. Ada Colau slipped to a third position.

The People's Party doubled its vote share, and far-right Vox made breakthroughs across Catalonia.

Listen to our Filling the Sink podcast episode published the day after ballots were closed and votes counted in.