Catalonia set for May 12 election after president dissolves parliament

Pere Aragonès signs decree for early vote after failing to pass 2024 budget

Catalan president Pere Aragonès signs decree calling elections and dissolving parliament on March 18
Catalan president Pere Aragonès signs decree calling elections and dissolving parliament on March 18 / Jordi Bedmar /Presidència
Catalan News

Catalan News | @catalannews | Barcelona

March 18, 2024 02:48 PM

March 18, 2024 04:15 PM

Catalan president Pere Aragonès set the electoral process in motion on Monday by signing the decree calling for elections and dissolving the parliament. Tomorrow, when the decree is published in the Catalan Official Gazette, the 54-day countdown to the May 12 elections will begin. 

Although parties have until April 8 to choose their candidates, most of them have already been announced. Aragonès will once again lead the pro-independence Esquerra against Salvador Illa, the Socialist candidate who won the last election in 2021 but failed to secure a majority. 

Junts may nominate Carles Puigdemont, the former Catalan president now living in Belgium, but the timing of the amnesty law could affect his candidacy, as he could face arrest if he returns before it is approved. Puigdemont is expected to announce his final decision on Thursday.   

The left-wing Catalunya en Comu (Comuns) will keep Jéssica Albaich as its candidate, while the far-left CUP will choose its leader through an online vote at the end of the month. 

While the conservative People's Party (PP) and the unionist Ciutadans may join forces for a single candidate, the far-right Vox has nominated Alberto Garriga. 

The political campaign will begin on April 25 and last 15 days until May 10, with a day of reflection on the eve of the election. 

Applications for postal votes will be available from tomorrow until May 2, and votes can be cast between April 22 and May 8. 

Eleven days after the elections in Catalonia on May 12, the campaign for the European elections, to be held on June 9, will begin. 

Why did Aragonès call a snap election? 

The snap election, scheduled for May 12, was called by Aragonès last Wednesday after he failed to secure enough support to pass the 2024 budget.

Despite winning the support of the Socialists and needing only two more votes, the Comuns vetoed the €43 million spending plan in a dispute over the Hard Rock casino complex.   

After the budget was rejected in parliament, Aragonés immediately called snap elections, even though his term was due to end next year.    

Since 2010, Catalonia has not had a president who served a full four-year term. Throughout the 21st century, Catalonia has only held two elections as planned, with six snap elections, including the upcoming one.