Former Catalan minister quits Junts after party votes against amnesty law

Miquel Sàmper disagrees with party's decision to oppose landmark bill in Spanish Congress

Miquel Sàmper
Miquel Sàmper / Andrea Zamorano
Catalan News

Catalan News | @catalannews | Barcelona

February 1, 2024 10:07 AM

February 1, 2024 10:17 AM

Former Catalan Interior Minister Miquel Sàmper has left pro-independence Junts after disagreeing with the party's decision to vote against the amnesty bill in the Spanish Congress, according to La Vanguardia newspaper.  

On Tuesday, the controversial amnesty bill for those involved in the Catalan independence movement was blocked by Junts and will now have to be renegotiated and brought back to the chamber.  

In an interview with Ser Catalunya radio, the president of Junts, Laura Borràs, said that she respected Samper's decision. She also mentioned ongoing discussions with the former minister on various issues in recent months.

Why Junts voted against the bill?

The Socialists and both Junts and fellow Catalan pro-independence party Esquerra Republicana (ERC) introduced several amendments to the text of the draft law in recent weeks to protect it from being declared unconstitutional by the judges.

However, Junts declared themselves not satisfied with these changes. They wanted the law to remove any reference to terrorism as an exception to its application, as this could result in party founder, and former Catalan president, Carles Puigdemont, not benefiting from the law.

The Catalan party also wanted to ensure that those accused in the protests of activist groups Tsunami Democràtic and the Committees for the Defense of the Republic (CDR), and in the Volhov case, were protected by the law.

The Socialists refused to make any further amendments because they believed that removing terrorism from the exclusions of the amnesty law would cause the amnesty to get stuck in Spain's Constitutional Court

After Junts' vote against the bill, it will now go to the Justice Committee to be renegotiated and could be brought back to the Spanish Congress in two or three weeks.