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Catalan election delay challenged in high court

Vote was postponed to May 30 over Covid-19 concerns as government calls parties to be responsible in not challenging it

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18 January 2021 11:24 AM

by

ACN | Barcelona

The Catalan election delay was challenged in high court on Monday morning with three appeals. 

One of them was made by a Christian Democrat extra-parliamentary party, Lliga Democràtica, who announced that it was taking the issue to the Catalan high court (TSJC) for considering the postponement "a suspension of democracy."

For them, putting off the vote from February 14 to May 30 is "very serious" – the party has even called it "an unacceptable abuse of authority."

According to Lliga Democràtica, the fact that Catalonia is going through a pandemic and that the government is "absolutely divided" makes it more urgent to hold an early election.

TSJC announced that two parties had already challenged the delay, as well as an individual, who asked for "urgent measures" to suspend the government's decree postponing the vote.

The Catalan election was officially delayed on Friday until May 30, as was announced by interim president Pere Aragonès and government spokesperson Meritxell Budó after an all-party summit in Parliament found consensus on the need to postpone the vote as Catalonia is currently facing a sharp worsening of the health crisis.

Socialists

The Socialist party (PSC) was the only one against the general consensus reached on the new date, May 30 and it is yet to be known whether they will also take the issue to court or whether they have already. So far on Monday they said they are considering it. 

Soaring in the polls after changing presidential candidate and picking Spain's health minister Salvador Illa, PSC was initially reluctant to delay the vote. Yet, on Thursday evening, they reconsidered their position, but only to accept a one-month postponement.

Meanwhile, the Catalan government, defending the need to wait until late spring, called on critics to be responsible, in not challenging the decision.

Interim president Pere Aragonès said on Monday that the cabinet's lawyers gave the move the go-ahead, and complained about the Spanish government trying to "interfere."

While the Socialist-led Spanish government avoided commenting on the delay on Friday and Monday, last Thursday its justice minister, Juan Carlos Campo, said it would be "serious for democracy" to put it off.

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  • A voter casting her ballot for the Spanish election in Lleida on November 10, 2019 (by Anna Berga)

  • A voter casting her ballot for the Spanish election in Lleida on November 10, 2019 (by Anna Berga)

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