Former FC Barcelona President will run in next autumn?s Catalan elections

Joan Laporta ends his term as Barça?s president today. He has created a new political party called ?Democràcia Catalana? (Catalan Democracy) which has Catalonia?s independence from Spain as its main objective. This week he will announce that he is in the

M. Colomer / CNA

July 1, 2010 12:56 AM

Barcelona (CNA).- FC Barcelona’s president, Joan Laporta, is taking his lasts steps with the team these days and plans to enter into politics and run in the next Catalan elections. With this decision, he confirms rumours of the last months , which he has contributed to with several political interventions and speeches. If all goes as planned, he wants to announce that he will run in the next elections for the Catalan Parliament by the end of this week. Sources close to Laporta have informed CNA that the person that will become tomorrow the former President of FC Barcelona has created a political party called ‘Democràcia Catalana’ (Catalan Democracy). He wants to run in the next elections with his new party; however, it is still not whether he will run with another new Catalan Independence party called ‘Reagrupament’ (Reunification). Laporta and Reagrupament’s leader, Joan Carretero, have been speculating for several months on the possibility of running together in the next Catalan elections.
The new party ‘Democràcia Catalana’ (DC) is not registered yet in the Spanish Home Affairs’ registrar of political parties. However, according to CNA sources, the procedures to do so are already being undergone and they will be finished this very week. Laporta is finishing up the last steps to jump into the political arena during the week he will stop being FC Barcelona’s president after 7 years of mandate. Laporta’s successor, Sandro Rosell, will take office tomorrow. The new Laporta’s party would compete against the Centre-Right Catalan Nationalist Party (CiU) and the Left-Wing Catalan Independence Party (ERC) for the swing voters. The CiU have very high possibilities to win the next elections and to form a government. However, polls indicate that the result will not give them the absolute majority. Both Laporta’s party and Reagrupament may not win a lot of votes, but they could win enough votes to have a few MPs. At the end, these votes may also be desperately needed for the CiU. However, the party that is likely to see more of its voters swinging to Laporta or Reagrupament is ERC.

If Laporta’s announcement is confirmed, his jump into politics will coincide with the Spanish Constitutional Court’s sentence on the Catalan Statute of Autonomy. Laporta, who in the last months has not hidden his pro-Catalonia independence feelings, has defined the Court’s sentence as “unacceptable”, one that “trims rights and freedoms” and “is an attack on Catalans’ dignity”. Barça’s president has kept up the mystery about his possible candidature in the next Catalan elections, without clarifying if he would finally enter into politics and, in case of doing so, if he would do it together with Carretero’s party Reagrupament. Consulted sources affirm that Laporta’s new political party is completely in line with Carretero’s Reagrupament. However, it is difficult to say how exactly the collaboration between the 2 parties and the 2 leaders would go. Carretero is quite keen to support Laporta if the latter runs with his own party, as he said some months ago. The most likely scenario is a joint candidature.

Laporta’s and Carretero’s calendars coincide

If Laporta finally announces his jump into the political arena, his calendar and Reagrupament’s would coincide. Carretero’s party has scheduled its 3rd National Assembly on Saturday the 10th of July, the same day a massive demonstration to support the Catalan Statute of Autonomy and protest against the Constitutional Court’s sentence will take place. In the 2nd Reagrupament’s National Assembly, held in March, Joan Laporta already intervened. Then, Laporta said that a transversal (from Left to Right) pro-Catalan Independence movement was desperately needed. He also led to understand that, if he finally entered into politics, he would do it with Reagrupament. In its 3rd Assembly, Reagrupament has to approve the lists of candidates for the next Catalan Parliamentary elections. Rumours say that Reagrupament would like to see Laporta as the top candidate for Barcelona and Carretero the top one on Girona’s list.