CUP will vote to appoint Aragonès as Catalan president on Friday

Far-left party says its parliamentary support is "not a blank check" and calls the agreement with ERC "insufficient"

CUP MPs explaining their decision to support a Pere Aragonès presidency on March 25, 2021 (by Bernat Vilaró)
CUP MPs explaining their decision to support a Pere Aragonès presidency on March 25, 2021 (by Bernat Vilaró) / ACN

ACN | Barcelona

March 25, 2021 12:57 PM

The far-left CUP party has confirmed it will vote in favour of appointing Pere Aragonès as Catalan president on Friday, a crucial and yet insufficient step to ensure the pro-independence candidate has enough parliamentary support to be invested as head of government.

Speaking to the press on Thursday, MP Eulàlia Reguant confirmed that a majority of CUP members had greenlighted the agreement reached with left-wing Esquerra Republicana (ERC) party to back Aragonès’ bid for office.

Reguant labelled the agreement as "insufficient," and warned that it was not a "blank check" for the next four years, but admitted that it was as ambitious as it could be considering CUP’s 9 MPs next to ERC’s 33.

ERC was the second-most voted party in the February 14 election, tied in seats with the Socialists. With pro-independence parties combined winning 74 of the parliament’s 135 seats, Aragonès is the most likely presidential candidate to obtain the approval of a majority of lawmakers.

JxCat abstention

However, Aragonès will not be appointed president on Friday as another pro-independence force, Junts per Catalunya (JxCat), will abstain in the vote, meaning the ERC figurehead will not have a majority of votes.

The second-largest pro-independence party with 32 seats, JxCat are led by the former Catalan president exiled in Belgium, Carles Puigdemont.

"Junts has the responsibility of joining this agreement if it wants to serve the country," Reguant had said earlier in the day.

On Tuesday, JxCat’s secretary-general, Jordi Sànchez, said that "nothing should prevent us from reaching a deal in the coming days or weeks," thereby signalling their optimism in reaching a government deal, but also suggesting that Aragonès’ first attempt to be elected could prove unsuccessful.