Catalan foreign minister warns president against setting snap election date ‘unilaterally’
Bernat Solé is hopeful that the two ruling parties will overcome discrepancies and agree on a date for the vote
Catalonia’s foreign affairs minister Bernat Solé has warned president Quim Torra against calling a snap election "unilaterally"—that is, without a prior agreement with Esquerra Republicana (ERC), the government coalition’s junior partner and Solé’s own party.
Embattled in a long-running dispute over the hegemony of the Catalan independence movement, the rivalry between ERC and president Torra’s Junts per Catalunya (JxCat) party has grown bitter over the years, deeming it unlikely for them to reach another government deal.
But the power to call a snap election does not lay on the government as a whole, but on the president himself. When will Torra use his powers to call fresh polls remain a mystery.
"I’m sure that neither JxCat nor ERC want that the Supreme Court announces the [snap] election date when Torra’s sentencing comes into force"
Bernat Solé · Foreign affairs minister of the Catalan government
Solé believes that Catalans "will not understand it" if Torra —who was appointed by former president Carles Puigdemont, exiled in Belgium for his role in the 2017 referendum clash— sets a date without reaching an agreement with ERC.
Oriol Junqueras, the president of ERC and one of the nine pro-independence leaders jailed for the independence bid two years ago, recently urged president Torra to set a date for the snap election in a radio interview from prison.
Torra himself could soon be sacked from office, as the Spanish Supreme Court is considering an appeal against his disqualification for defying orders to remove symbols deemed as partisan from the government headquarters.
"I’m sure that neither JxCat or ERC want that the Supreme Court announces the election date when Torra’s sentencing comes into force," said Solé.