Catalan parties question Parliament speaker’s UN trip
Groups outside the pro-independence camp say forming a new government should be the chamber’s priority
The decision by the Catalan Parliament speaker, Roger Torrent, to travel to Geneva to meet UN officials to report “violations of fundamental rights” in Catalonia has drawn criticism from some parties in the chamber. Torrent made the decision to travel to the international organization after Spain’s Supreme Court again blocked Jordi Sànchez’s bid to be sworn in as president last week. The refusal by the Supreme Court to allow Sànchez to attend the chamber came despite a ruling from the UN Human Rights Committee urging Spain to guarantee the jailed MP’s “political rights.”
A spokeswoman from the Catalan socialist party, which opposes independence, criticized the speaker on Tuesday for making the trip. “What we want is an agreement of this parliamentary majority and an effective investiture. Enough trips and looking for excuses,” she said. The spokeswoman’s comments came after a meeting of the parliament bureau in the morning at which a motion to revoke the parliamentary resolution allowing former president Carles Puigdemont to vote by proxy was rejected. In fact, the socialists said they would not appeal and would leave any decision to strike down the resolution to the courts.
"What we want is an agreement of this parliamentary majority and an effective investiture. Enough trips and looking for excuses"
Eva Granados · Socialist party spokeswoman
As for the largest unionist party in the Catalan Parliament, Ciutadans (Cs), its spokesman accused Torrent of traveling to Geneva as “Puigdemont’s emissary” and he warned his party would do everything possible to make sure that no public money is used for the trip. According to the Cs spokesman, Torrent’s trip to the UN headquarters “has nothing to do with the issues that matter to Catalans,” and therefore “their money should not pay for it.”
While not aligning politically with the unionist bloc, a spokeswoman for the Catalunya en Comú Podem party also questioned Torrent’s trip. “The main agenda for people is having an effective Catalan government that will allow us to recover our self-rule and put an end to the hijacking of our institutions,” she said in reference to Madrid’s ongoing direct rule of Catalonia. The spokeswoman was also critical of the bureau’s decision to call a plenary session next week to debate other matters. “What we need is a plenary session that delivers a president and government,” she said.