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Catalan National Assembly says 'Yes' to negotiations on transversal electoral list for 27-S elections

The Catalan National Assembly (ANC) has overwhelmingly voted 'yes' to the internal consultation on its participation in the negotiations aimed at shaping a highly transversal electoral proposal for the 27-S elections. On Monday, the President of the ANC, Jordi Sànchez said that in the coming days his organisation will talk with all the stakeholders involved in trying to reach the best agreement for Catalan independence, remaining open to different options. However, if a deal is not reached by 20 July, the ANC will leave the negotiation process that – according to Sànchez – will have to be completely public. In January, Mas' original proposal was to have a single list with political parties and civil society organisations but parties such as ERC rejected the idea, arguing for the need to have both right-wing and left-wing pro-independence options. In June, Mas' second proposal was to have a unitary list led by pro-independence organisations that – according to their will – could invite politicians on board.

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06 July 2015 10:51 PM

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ACN

Barcelona (ACN) – The Catalan National Assembly (ANC) has overwhelmingly voted 'yes' to the internal consultation on its participation in the process of negotiation aimed at shaping a highly transversal electoral proposal for the 27-S elections, according to the consultation results. On Monday, the President of the ANC, Jordi Sànchez said that in the coming days his organisation will talk with all the stakeholders involved in trying to reach the best agreement for Catalan independence, remaining open to different options. However, if a deal is not reached by 20 July, the ANC will leave the negotiation process that – according to Sanchez – will have to be completely public. In January, Mas' original proposal was to have a single list with political parties and civil society organisations but parties such as ERC rejected the idea, arguing for the need to have both right-wing and left-wing pro-independence options. In June, Mas' second proposal was to have a unitary list led by pro-independence organisations that – according to their will – could invite politicians on board.


On Saturday, 34,768 members of the Catalan National Assembly were called to vote, answering the following question: "Do you want the ANC to seek the necessary involvement with other organisations and political parties to promote an electoral proposal characterised by the highest level of cross-party collaboration, guaranteeing the plebiscitary character of the 27-S in order to achieve Catalan independence?". Voters had two options: either to cast their ballot at one of the 178 polling places located throughout Catalonia or express their preference by e-mail. 11,236 ANC members expressed their opinion by voting in person. Final results will be known next week when the 5,000 votes received by e-mail will be counted. So far, 96% of the participants have voted 'yes'.

The participation of over 16,000 people represents an outstanding figure, as for the election of the National Secretariat a total of 5,629 members voted in person and 100 by e-mail. In a statement, the ANC assessed that the high participation rate of the internal consultation "strengthens the role of this grassroots organisation in the negotiations ahead of the 27-S  elections", aimed at ensuring that the latter will be "the plebiscite needed to win Catalan independence", the ANC said.

Sànchez foresees reaching an "exciting" deal for Catalan independence by 20 July

On Monday, the President of the ANC, Jordi Sànchez, guaranteed that his organisation will not endorse an agreement that simply honours "political parties' narrow interests". In an interview with TV3, he stated that he is convinced that before the 20th of July the parties and organisations will reach an "exciting" deal for Catalan independence. If this does not happen, Sànchez said, the ANC will abandon the process of negotiation. The President of this grassroots organisation also wants the process to be fully public, unlike the deal reached in January, so that citizens will be able to scrutinise it. 

Sànchez did not speak about any specific formula for the agreement. "The ANC is open to talks about a unitary list or multiple lists and even the possibility of including political parties' members within a civil society list", he said. In the coming days, the organisation will discuss with all stakeholders involved in order to try to reach the best possible agreement for Catalan independence. "If we say that an agreement has been reached – whatever it may be – it will mean that we are convinced that it is the best possible deal. Not the better, the best", he said.

Sànchez did not rule out the possibility of Artur Mas and Oriol Junqueras (among others) being on the list, if the unitary list option prevails. "Everyone should have his own place. All the political parties should feel represented", he stated. However, the ANC does not want the discussion on the list to monopolise negotiations. First of all, according to him, minimising the number of lists is preferable (according to the principle 'one better than two') and secondly, post-election governability must be assured.

"In 12 or 18 months, the post 27-S election Government – with the support of its parliamentary majority – will proclaim Catalan independence, complete the necessary state structures and promote the constitutional process", a process in which – Sànchez stressed – "also the political parties which are not clearly in favour of independence but only the pro-determination process have a role to play. Once the constitutional process is completed, the Constitution will have to be ratified in a referendum and new elections will be held".

Finally, Sànchez asked the parties against Catalan independence to behave correctly, if an absolute majority is not reached. "Surely if we do not get 68 parliamentary seats they will say that the elections were indeed a plebiscite", he warned. The president of the ANC demanded that the political parties against independence aspire to win an absolute majority as well, before proclaiming the victory of their view. In any case, if the pro-independence bloc does not reach 68 deputies, Sanchez stressed that the ANC "will not give up" but continue working so that one day Catalonia will be a new independent state.

For the Catalan Socialist Party the debate on the list for the 27-S elections is a 'joke'

On Monday, Esther Niubó, the Spokesperson for the Catalan Socialist Party (PSC), described the debate on the unitary list for the 27-S as a "joke", stating that it will end up with "things remaining as usual". For the PSC, the current debate is of "great embarrassment" in front of the citizenry. "Three months before the elections we still do not know if Artur Mas will be running for re-election as President of the Catalan Government", Niubó underlined during the press conference. The Spokeperson for the PSC also ruled out the Catalan People’s Party and the anti-Catalan nationalism party Ciutadans (C’s) as potential partners post-election as cooperation will be sought with left-wing political groups. However, she underlined that they could see Rivera (the leader of Ciutadans) as 'a potential ally' in the process of constitutional reform.

President of the PPC defined debate on unitary list for 27-S elections as 'populist'

Alicia Sanchez-Camacho, President of the PPC, has labelled as populist the 'discourse' on independence promoted by Artur Mas and the pro-independence political parties, as well as by Podemos and Ada Colau (defining the latter as a "Greek-style version of populism"). Sanchez-Camacho warned about the potential negative effects that – according to her – could come out of it. "Playing with pro-independence or Greek-style populism could bring worrying consequences, dangerous for the economy and harming the weakest social strata", she said on Monday. The President of the PPC also defined the debate on the unitary list for 27-S as "nonsense, confusing and chaotic" accusing Mas of "improvising". She reaffirmed that the pro-independence bloc is "unable" to go together. "We are pleased to see that the process is crumbling and going through a very complicated phase", she said.

CDC will prioritise 'maximum consensus' with pro-independence organisations

"With or without politicians on the list, the unitary list will be the Convergència Democràtica de Catalunya (CDC) one", said Mercè Conesa, Spokesperson for CDC, after the meeting of the party leadership, which made a very positive assessment of the internal consultation held by the ANC. Conesa said that CDC, President Artur Mas party, does not attach any conditions or calendar to the negotiations beginning this week, highlighting that CDC prioritise the "maximum consensus " with the pro-independence organisations. "It is important to achieve maximum unity so that the 27-S elections can become a plebiscite", said Conesa, who avoided making any further assessment so as not to obstruct the negotiations.

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  • Jordi Sánchez, President of the ANC (by ACN)

  • Jordi Sánchez, President of the ANC (by ACN)