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Football coach Pep Guardiola to symbolically run in pro-independence list for Catalan elections

The current manager of FC Bayern Munich, Catalonia-born Pep Guardiola, will occupy the symbolic last position on the unitary pro-independence list running in the next Catalan Parliament elections, which groups together Liberals, Social-Democrats, Christian-Democrats, Socialists, Greens and civil society organisations, according to news released on Monday morning by the ‘El País’ and ‘El Periódico’ newspapers. The elections are scheduled for 27 September and many parties are planning to transform them into a ‘de facto’ plebiscite on independence after the Spanish Government’s unilateral blocking attitude for the last 3 years. For many people, this is the only way left to hold a legal vote on independence, after the Spanish Government has totally rejected even talking about the self-determination claims democratically expressed by a majority of Catalan citizens through the last Catalan elections in 2012 and many peaceful mass demonstrations.

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20 July 2015 03:21 PM

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ACN

Barcelona (ACN).- The current manager of FC Bayern Munich, Catalonia-born Pep Guardiola, will occupy the symbolic last position on the unitary pro-independence list running in the next Catalan Parliament elections, which groups together Liberals, Social-Democrats, Christian-Democrats, Socialists, Greens and civil society organisations, according to news released on Monday morning by the ‘El País’ and ‘El Periódico’ newspapers. However, the news has not been officially confirmed by Guardiola or any political leader, although it has not been denied either. The elections are scheduled for 27 September and many parties are planning to transform them into a ‘de facto’ plebiscite on independence after the Spanish Government’s unilateral blocking attitude for the last 3 years. For many people, this is the only way left to hold a legal vote on independence, after the Spanish Government has totally rejected even talking about the self-determination claims democratically expressed by a majority of Catalan citizens through the last Catalan elections in 2012 and many peaceful mass demonstrations.


The unitary pro-independence list will be officially presented this Monday evening in Barcelona, at Catalonia’s National History Museum. The incumbent President of the Catalan Government and leader of the governing Liberal party CDC, Artur Mas, will occupy the 4th position of the list, in order to leave the first 3 positions for non-partisan figures. However, the agreement among all the participating parties and civil society organisations foresees that, should they win the elections and have a sufficient parliamentary majority, Mas would be re-elected President of Catalonia. In addition, they would start the independence process, which they aim to conclude in the second half of 2016.

Former Eco-Socialist Member of the European Parliament, Raül Romeva, to top the list

The list is topped by former Member of the European Parliament for the Catalan Eco-Socialist party ICV, Raül Romeva, who quit his party in March because it was not fully supporting independence and the self-determination process. Romeva, who was an MEP from 2004 to 2014, is a widely respected figure at both Catalan and European level, has a PhD in International Relations and is an expert on conflict resolution. The second and third positions on the list are occupied by Carme Forcadell and Muriel Casals respectively, leaders of the two main civil society organisations that organised the massive pro-independence demonstrations that have taken place in September for the last 3 years and which will be repeated in less than 2 months’ time. Forcadell was until May President of the grassroots organisation Catalan National Assembly and Casals is the current President of the Òmnium Cultural association.

The incumbent Catalan President, Liberal Artur Mas, will also run in top positions

After the first 3 names, active politicians start to appear, starting with the current Catalan President, Artur Mas. He is followed by the leader of the Social-Democrat party ERC, Oriol Junqueras. Then, the next two spots on the list (6th and 7th position) are to be kept for further representatives of civil society or independents. In the last few days, an increasing number of rumours have suggested that the President of the association of pro-independence Spanish-speakers Súmate, Eduardo Reyes, will occupy 6th position, but this information has not been confirmed yet. Similar rumours have suggested that 7th position will be for a businessman or a leading economist.

The following positions would then be split 60% for CDC and 40% for ERC. However, both CDC and ERC would give some of their positions to the other political parties supporting this list, namely the Socialist party MES and the Christian-Democrat DC, which are both pro-independence scissions from historical Catalan parties (the PSC and UDC respectively).

Parliamentary elections with candidature lists for each of the 4 Catalan provinces

In the Catalan Parliament elections, the running parties can present a different list for each of the four Catalan Provinces (Barcelona, Girona, Lleida and Tarragona). The 135 seats in the Catalan chamber are the result of adding together the seats allocated to each province. Barcelona, where more than two-thirds of Catalan citizens live, holds by far the highest number of seats: 85. The seats are distributed among the voted parties proportionally, following the D’Hondt method.

Traditionally, the person topping the list for Barcelona is the party’s candidate to become President of the Catalan Government. However, in the unitary pro-independence list, this will not be the case as their candidate for President is Mas, who comes 4th and not Romeva, who comes 1st. Guardiola would occupy 85th position on the list, with zero chances of being elected but occupying a symbolic spot as he would close the candidature list.

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  • Pep Guardiola, FC Bayern Munich's current manager and former FC Barcelona coach, casting his ballot in the 9 November symbolical self-determination vote (by ACN)

  • Pep Guardiola, FC Bayern Munich's current manager and former FC Barcelona coach, casting his ballot in the 9 November symbolical self-determination vote (by ACN)