Agreement to declare independence 18 months after 27-S election
Mas, Junqueras and the three main civil society organisations in Catalonia have signed a roadmap stating that following a victory of the ‘Yes’ parties in the next Catalan election, a new Constitution will be drafted and then voted on in a binding referendum. If Catalans vote ‘Yes’ to the proposed Constitution, independence will be declared no later than 2017.
Barcelona (ACN).- Catalonia will be independent no later than 2017 if citizens back ‘Yes’ parties in the next election and then vote in favour of a Catalan Constitution in a binding referendum. This is according to the agreement reached on Wednesday between the two main pro-independence parties in Catalonia and the three civil society organisations that have been organising the large demonstrations of the last few years. Catalan President Artur Mas, leader of the party CDC, which is the Liberal and largest force within the two-party centre-right pro-Catalan State coalition CiU, and left-wing Catalan independence party ERC, led by Oriol Junqueras, have signed the agreement, together with the Association of pro-Independence Municipalities (AMI), the Catalan National Assembly (ANC) and Òmnium Cultural.
The document states that the process leading to the creation of an independent Catalonia will last a maximum of 18 months, the period between the elections of the 27th of September, considered by ‘Yes’ parties as plebiscite-style elections, and a “binding referendum” on a new Catalan constitution that would be drafted following a pro-independence victory in September.
The agreement states that the 27-S election will offer an opportunity to “know the wish of the Catalan people concerning their political future”. The signatories believe that the result of the election will be “unequivocal”, as ‘Yes’ parties will all run with a “clear first point” in their manifestos stating that they are “in favour of the independence of Catalonia”. Therefore, votes for those parties will be considered as ‘Yes’ votes.
The roadmap also states that after a hypothetical ‘Yes’ victory in the election, a Catalan Constitution will be drafted “within 10 months”. The plan is then to start a “participatory” process to allow citizens to express their views about the new constitutional framework, as well as to create a Constitutional Convention. During this timeframe, parties have also agreed to “create and implement” the institutions needed to run an independent country, such as a Catalan Treasury and a Social Security System. How to guarantee energy supplies, security issues, the maintenance of foreign affairs and how to approach the legal transition will also be given consideration during this period.
The document also states clearly that after the 27-S election, ‘Yes’ parties would make a “sovereignty declaration as a starting-point of the process towards the declaration of a new state or a Catalan Republic”. In this regard, the signatories clearly state that “the process towards democratic transition will not be subject” to the Spanish legal framework or any hypothetical opposition from the Spanish government or Constitutional Court to the declaration of sovereignty.
However, the document also states that parties will keep “an open attitude in regard to a binding referendum on the independence of Catalonia” organised in agreement with the Spanish government. That is to say, the signatories offer Madrid the possibility to avoid a unilateral process by agreeing on a binding referendum on independence.
Other parties welcome to join
The Catalan President, Artur Mas, said that the agreement between his CDC, ERC, the ANC, Òmnium and the AMI does not yet include “all parties that should be included”, but added that they may join in the next few weeks. “The door is open”, he said. “It is important to come together”, stated the Catalan president.
The general co-ordinator of the CDC, Josep Rull, said that the agreement demonstrated that the Catalan process is still alive. Rull stated that he hoped other parties such as the CUP, the alternative left and the radical independence party might join them eventually, adding that negotiations were going well. The presidents of the ANC and Òmnium, Carme Forcadell and Muriel Casals, said they are “convinced” that the CUP and also the junior partner of the CiU coalition, UDC, will sign the roadmap. “The text is flexible so other parties can join”, said Forcadell.
The president of the People’s Party in Catalonia, Alícia Sánchez-Camacho said the document is “useless” and demonstrates that Mas and Junqueras “keep lying”. “The 27-S elections will never be a plebiscite, they are simply regional elections and as much as they want that to change, the law won’t change”, she said. Sánchez-Camacho also stated that aiming to create “a Catalan Republic in 18 months is against the Constitution and illegal”. The agreement, she added, “has no legal value”.