Carme Forcadell to run in December 21 elections for ERC
The Catalan Parliament president will be in the candidacy led by jailed minister Oriol Junqueras
Carme Forcadell, the president of Catalan Parliament, was announced today as a candidate in the upcoming December 21 elections by pro-independence left-wing Esquerra Republicana (ERC) party. Forcadell has been one of the Catalan officials to come under pressure from the Spanish judiciary, for allowing pro-independence debate in the chamber over which she presided – and ultimately, the vote on the declaration of independence itself. Indeed, she even spent a day in prison last week, and was only released after paying bail of € 150,000.
“I’ve always peacefully and democratically defended what I think is best for my country. This December 21, I will continue doing so from ERC’s candidacy”
Carme Forcadell · Catalan Parliament president
On her Twitter account, Forcadell affirmed: “I’ve always peacefully and democratically defended what I think is best for my country. This December 21, I will continue doing so from ERC’s candidacy.” The party itself, on the same platform, noted that it was “an honor.” Still, sources close to the Parliament president stated that she “will continue prioritizing her task as head of Parliament for the rest of her mandate,” over her activity as ERC candidate.
A letter to ERC members from Junqueras
This is, in fact, the same party as incarcerated vice president Oriol Junqueras, ousted by the Spanish government. Unlike Forcadell, Junqueras remains imprisoned, although the official has still been present – and campaigning – from custody. The vice president sent a letter to members of the ERC party, detailing that events in the last few months were a “huge leap forward” for independence, during which Catalonia achieved recognition. His letter was not devoid of self-criticism, either – admitting "naivety" in thinking the Spanish state wouldn’t dare apply the measures it did.
Oriol Junqueras currently holds the first position on ERC’s list of candidates, after which comes Marta Rovira, the party’s secretary general, followed by minister Raül Romeva, who is currently incarcerated in the Madrid area. Forcadell occupies the fourth position on the candidacy list, although these numbers still might change.
This decision also follows the announcement by Rovira that, unlike the previous election, ERC will not be running jointly with Carles Puigdemont's party, PDeCAT (under the candidacy of Together for Catalonia). Indeed, Rovira and Puigdemont met in Brussels to discuss the upcoming December elections. While they will present themselves on two separate tickets, the two officials have affirmed that they will be pursuing "a common front" against "the imposition of Article 155," and "to free political prisoners and put an end to repression and political persecution," as stated by Rovira.