No candidate to be proposed in first Catalan presidential investiture debate

If no president named by August 26, new election automatically called for October

The Catalan parliament
The Catalan parliament / Arnau Martínez
Catalan News

Catalan News | @catalannews | Barcelona

June 18, 2024 11:27 AM

June 18, 2024 12:20 PM

The first presidential investiture debate is scheduled for June 25, but it will take place without a candidate put forward, leading to the inevitable failure of the session and no president for Catalonia.

The new speaker of the Catalan parliament, Josep Rull, has confirmed that he will not put forward a candidate, as none have enough support to be appointed president.

So far, the two candidates who have put themselves forward to be the future Catalan president are the Socialist leader and winner of the May 12 election, Salvador Illa, and pro-independence Junts+ leader Carles Puigdemont, the former president of Catalonia during the 2017 independence referendum.

However, neither has enough support at the moment. For this reason, the parliament speaker has concluded that no candidate has a chance and will convene an investiture debate without a candidate.

The session will happen on Tuesday, June 25, then automatically triggering the countdown for elections to be called if no president is appointed two months later.

The deadline for a candidate to be elected president is August 25. If no agreement is reached among the parties by then, elections will be automatically called for 54 days later, around October 20.

The Socialist candidate Salvador Illa after winning the May 12 Catalan election
The Socialist candidate Salvador Illa after winning the May 12 Catalan election / Jordi Borràs

Rull's decision not to put forward any candidate comes after Salvador Illa confirmed on Monday that he would not run in the first attempt to be appointed president because he needs more time to reach a deal with other parties.

"I will inform the parliament speaker that I will go to the investiture session, but that I need more time to form a progressive majority, the only viable one," he told Cadena SER radio.

As for Junts+, the party's secretary general, Jordi Turull, confirmed last week that Puigdemont would not attempt to be invested on June 25 if he did not have the support to be president.

There is also uncertainty with Junts+ regarding whether Puigdemont, currently living in exile, could return for a hypothetical investiture debate without being arrested.

The amnesty law that officially came into force last week was designed to allow Puigdemont to return, but judges still have to debate its application and it could be a while before it becomes effective.

So far, the Supreme Court has upheld the arrest warrant for Puigdemont despite the law's implementation.

The former Catalan president appeared before the French authorities in Paris on Monday to be briefed on the Tsunami Democràtic case, for which he is wanted on terrorism charges

Junts+ candidate and former Catalan president Carles Puigdemont
Junts+ candidate and former Catalan president Carles Puigdemont / Nazaret Romero