Catalan president will not address Senate on Article 155

Carles Puigdemont decides not to attend debate in Spain’s upper house on suspending Catalonia’s self-government

Catalan president Carles Puigdemont at a government cabinet meeting on October 24 (by ACN)
Catalan president Carles Puigdemont at a government cabinet meeting on October 24 (by ACN) / ACN

ACN | Barcelona

October 25, 2017 04:28 PM

When the Spanish Senate meets on Thursday and Friday to debate the implementation of Article 155, and thereby begin the process of suspending Catalonia’s self-government, it will do so without the presence of president Carles Puigdemont. President of the Parliament Carme Forcadell informed Catalan political parties on Wednesday that the president had turned down the Senate’s invitation to address Spain’s upper house either on Thursday evening or on Friday morning. Instead, Puigdemont will attend the Catalan Parliament’s plenary session that begins on Thursday to debate the repercussions of Article 155.

According to sources close to the government, there has been much activity in the pro-independence camp in recent hours, with reports that an “Agreement for the Republic” had been reached, albeit without any details. Other sources deny there is any agreement to declare independence during the plenary session. Puigdemont now has three options: declare independence, declare independence and call Catalan elections, or just call an election. The fact that Puigdemont has decided not to go to the Senate has been taken by some to mean that the president has decided on which of the three options to take.

“Time to defend the republic”

Meanwhile, the pro-independence civic organization, the Catalan National Assembly (ANC), reacted to the news that Puigdemont will not now go to Madrid by moving a planned demonstration outside the Catalan parliament to Friday, given the chance of a unilateral declaration of independence. “The moment has arrived. Now is the time to defend the republic,” said an ANC message on social media. Under the hashtag #femlarepública, the ANC has rescheduled the protest for 12 noon on Friday.