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Electoral campaign for the 27-S kicks off on Catalonia’s National Day

This year the electoral campaign for the upcoming 27th of September elections starts on the 11th of September, Catalonia’s National Day. In total 40 lists of candidates are running for the Catalan elections, 39 less than in the last elections in 2012, with many of the candidates being newcomers. This reduction in the number of candidacies is due to the creation of unitary lists made up by coalitions between different parties and even civil society organisations in order to have a wider representation in an election that is set to be a ‘de facto’ plebiscite on independence. 

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11 September 2015 12:10 PM

by

ACN / Sara Prim

Barcelona (CNA).- The 11th of September 2015 is not just another commemoration of Catalonia’s National Day but the starting signal for the 27-S election campaign. 40 lists of candidates are running for the Catalan elections, which is a lower figure than for the 2012 elections, and many lists are new. According to the plebiscitary nature of the elections that many parties assure, new candidacies made up by coalitions between different parties have been created and civil society has also taken an active role, joining some of the lists and mixing with politicians for the first time ever. The 27th of September elections are set to be the last resort to measure Catalan society’s support for a hypothetical independence process and the results will be analysed as either a “yes” or a “no” for the movement.  


The number of lists running for the 27-S Catalan elections is lower than the last time around in 2012; dropping from 79 candidacies to the 40 lists running this year. Moreover, there are many new candidacies that have been designed for the occasion according to the historic nature of the elections that will function as a ‘de facto’ plebiscite on independence. For the first time ever, new coalitions have been made and civil society organisations, such as the grass-roots pro-independence Catalan National Assembly (ANC), the non-profit association promoting Catalan language and culture Òmnium Cultural and the pro-independence association of Spanish speakers, ‘Súmate’, have entered the fray.

Coalitions and unitary lists

One of the main characteristics of the 27-S elections is the plebiscitary nature that many parties, institutions and organisations have claimed these elections have. In order to reinforce this feature and gather as many different political sensibilities as possible, several traditional parties – such as the liberal party CDC, which rules the Catalan Government – bid for the creation of unitary lists. One of the most outstanding examples is pro-independence unitary list ‘Junts Pel Sí’ (‘Together for Yes’). Led by eco-socialist MEP Raül Romeva, the list gathers together Liberals, Social-Democrats, Greens, Christian-Democrats, Socialists and civil society organisations. The Catalan President Artur Mas comes fourth on the list and left wing pro-independence ERC leader Oriol Junqueras is also there. The names of the former presidents of the ANC, Carme Forcadell, and of Òmnium Cultural, Muriel Casals, also appear on ‘Junts Pel Sí’, together with former FC Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola and anti-Franco singer-songwriter Lluís Llach. "What we are doing here is very strange but we are going through a very strange moment, extraordinary", stated former MEP Romeva during the presentation of ‘Junts Pel Sí’ in August.

Another example of joint efforts is ‘Catalunya Sí que es Pot’, in English, 'Catalonia yes we can'. Catalan Green-Socialist party ICV and alternative left-wing Podem (Catalan branch of the Spanish party Podemos)have come together in order to beat ‘Junts Pel Sí’, a list that they regard as an excuse for prolonging Artur Mas’ presidency. ‘Catalunya Sí que es Pot’, which focuses mainly on the social debate, foresees a constitutional process for Catalonia leading to the approval of a Catalan constitution and the creation of a Catalan Republic; a model compatible in theory with a future independent state, but also with a federal or confederal solution. The constitutional process included in the road map should provide citizens with the opportunity to decide both Catalonia's relationship with Spain and its economic and social model, they argue.

Changing the leaders

The Conservative People’s Party (PP)’s election bid centres around former Mayor of Badalona Xavier García Albiol and the Catalan Socialist Party (PSC) have an iconic member of the party, Miquel Iceta, as its most visible face for the 27-S elections.  Anti-Catalan nationalism party Ciutadans has Inés Arrimadas as its new leader for these elections, as its former leader Albert Rivera aims to run for the Spanish elections later this year.

Alternative left and radical independence CUP has also changed its most visible representative, switching from David Fernàndez to Antonio Baños. Although CUP supports the independence process, they didn’t accept the invitation to join unitary list ‘Junts Pel Sí’ as they felt their anti-capitalism project didn’t fit well with the list’s objectives.  

The coincidence with Catalonia’s National Day commemoration, a tricky issue

Some anti-Catalan nationalist parties, such as Ciutadans (C’s) and the PP, the latter of which currently runs the Spanish government and is against Catalonia’s independence process, have warned that the demonstration to be held on the 11th of September is a political act from the unitary pro-independence list ‘Junts Pel Sí’ (‘Together for Yes’), which includes the former presidents of the ANC Carme Forcadell and Òmnium Cultural Muriel Casals, on its list.  

The PSC leader Miquel Iceta has asked that nobody appropriate Catalonia’s National Day and added that when Catalonia acts together it wins and “loses when divided”.

On the other side, the President of the ANC, one of the two pro-independence civil society organisations preparing the ‘Via Lliure’ demonstration scheduled for this evening, Jordi Sànchez, has made it clear that he does not want the National Day to become an electoral event, “everyone who believes in the right to decide and the need to push for a new country will have a place there” he stated. Thus, the event welcomes not only those who support Catalan independence but also those who agree with Catalonia’s right to vote and decide its political future. “The facts will demonstrate that the ‘Via Lliure’ wasn’t an electoral event” he said.

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  • Unió starts 27S electoral campaign
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The political parties running in the 27-S election