Colau proposes sharing Barcelona mayoral position with two other left-wing forces

Anti-austerity politician says other parties "open to discussing" idea but Socialists already rule it out

Incumbent mayor of Barcelona, Ada Colau, votes in the 2023 local elections
Incumbent mayor of Barcelona, Ada Colau, votes in the 2023 local elections / Blanca Blay
Catalan News

Catalan News | @catalannews | Barcelona

June 13, 2023 10:34 AM

June 13, 2023 07:27 PM

Acting Barcelona mayor Ada Colau has proposed sharing the mayoral position with fellow left-wing Esquerra Republicana and the Socialists over the next term as a "pragmatic, realist, and viable" way of preventing Xavier Trias' "neoliberal" policies from taking hold in the city.

Barcelona En Comú's Colau, who has been in office since 2015, said in an interview with Radio 4 that the three parties could create a "strong government" that promotes "progressive policies" in the Catalan capital.

Colau suggested that Esquerra's Ernest Maragall could take the lead the first year of the four-year term, while both she and the Socialist's Jaume Collboni could have the post for a year-and-a-half each.

According to Colau, both Maragall and the Collboni are "open to discussing" the matter, although she did acknowledge a certain "reluctance and mutual distrust" between the two.

Esquerra party officials, meanwhile, say they have not received a formal proposal from Colau, and claim the last meeting between both politicians took place on May 31, days after the vote. 

"Sharing the mayorship is incentive enough as everyone will have the chance to implement their ideas while running the Barcelona council," said Ada Colau / Catalan News

Acting mayor Ada Colau's proposal to share Barcelona mayoral position between three left-wing parties "would not be understood by progressive voters and would not contribute to stability" / Catalan News

However, the Socialists have already rejected Colau's proposal, on the grounds that "it would not be understood by progressive voters and would not contribute to the stability and seriousness the the Barcelona council and its residents deserve."

Center-right pro-independence Junts-backed Trias was the most-voted candidate in the May 28 local elections, winning 11 council seats – 10 short of a majority.

The Socialists were the second-most-voted party, with barely over 200 votes more than Colau but obtaining 10 seats in the local chamber compared to her 9, while Esquerra dropped to fourth position with 5 seats after coming in first in 2019.

The Colau-Collboni coalition that kept Maragall out of office four years ago with the backing of Manuel Valls, however, could condition their chances this time around: Esquerra president Oriol Junqueras has already suggested his party would not make a deal with those who blocked them from the mayoral post four years ago.

This has not stopped the Socialists and Esquerra from governing together in other municipalities, such as Ripoll or Masquefa. 

As the head of the most-voted party, Xavier Trias will be sworn in as mayor on June 17 if the other parties fail to reach an agreement to counter him.