Former Convergència party won’t have its own group in the Spanish Parliament
The Spanish Parliament’s Bureau, headed by the Conservative People’s Party (PP) decided this Tuesday to integrate the Catalan Democratic Party (PDC), former liberal Convergència, into the Mixed Group rather than allow them to be constituted as a parliamentary group. Thus, the PDC will see its influence in the Chamber much reduced and its interventions will have to be shared amongst the other minority forces in the Mixed Group. The decision, which comes just one day after the PDC was denied its own group in the Senate, is regarded by the PDC as a political reprisal for the Parliament’s approval of the pro-independence roadmap. This will be the first time since 1977 that the former Convergència party, the party which ruled in Catalonia for more than 20 years in coalition with Christian Democrats ‘Unió’, won’t have its own group in the Spanish Parliament.
Barcelona (CNA).- The Catalan Democrat Party (PDC) the new name for former liberal Convergència, the party which ruled in Catalonia for more than 20 years in coalition with Christian Democrats ‘Unió’, won’t have its own group in the Spanish Parliament. The Chamber’s Bureau, headed by the Conservative People’s Party (PP) have decided so this Tuesday, just one day after refusing to give PDC its own group in the Senate. Thus, PDC will be integrated within the Mixed Group, along with Basque Nationalists ‘Bildu’, the Canarian Coalition and other minority forces and will therefore need to share its intervention time and will see its influence in the Chamber much reduced. This will be the first time since 1977 that the former Convergència party won’t have its own group in the Spanish Lower Chamber and it is regarded by the PDC as a political reprisal for the Parliament’s approval of the pro-independence roadmap.
Spanish Unionist ‘Ciutadans’ voted against the possibility for PDC to constitute itself as a parliamentary group, while the other parties in the Bureau, PP, the Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE) and alternative left coalition ‘Unidos Podemos’ abstained from voting. In the last Spanish Elections, held on the 26th of December, the PDC obtained 8 MPs in the Spanish Lower Chamber, which represents 3 seats more than the number required for a party to have its own parliamentary group. However, according to the Bureau, the party didn’t obtain at least 15% of votes in all of Catalonia’s constituencies (Barcelona, Girona, Tarragona and Lleida) and therefore can’t be constituted as a parliamentary group.
PDC cite “political reasons”
The PDC lamented this decision and claimed that the 15% of votes threshold hasn’t always been reached and even so the Spanish Parliament accepted the constitution of the so-called ‘Catalan Minority’ as a parliamentary group. Thus, PDC’s leader, Francesc Homs, considered the decision “to respond to political reasons”. “This decision has to do with the Parliament’s vote last week” stated Homs, referring to the approval of Catalonia’s pro-independence roadmap by the Catalan Chamber, and insisted that the Bureau aims to “limit PDC’s activity in the Spanish Parliament”. In this vein, Homs warned that this decision will also determine PDC’s role in the Chamber, especially in relation to the formation of a new government in Spain. “If we are not worthy of having our own parliamentary group, we won’t be so for reaching agreements either”.
A historic decision
Former liberal Convergència has had its own parliamentary group in the Spanish Chamber since 1977, when they first entered the Spanish Parliament. The so-called ‘Catalan Minority” included MPs from Convergència and their partners in Catalonia for more than 40 years, Christian Democrats ‘Unió’. The politician responsible for this parliamentary group was Jordi Pujol, who later become Catalan President and held this position for more than 20 years.