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Last 3 Catalan Parliament Presidents and coach Pep Guardiola to symbolically close pro-independence unitary list

The pro-independence cross-party list for the forthcoming 27 September Catalan elections, which will be transformed into a ‘de facto’ plebiscite on independence, will be symbolically closed by the last 3 Presidents of the Catalan Parliament and by the current Bayern Munich coach, Pep Guardiola. They will occupy the symbolic last 4 positions on the 85-name list for the Province of Barcelona, with one name for each of the 85 MPs aiming to be elected in this constituency, the main one of the 4 Catalan provinces. None of them stand a chance of being elected, as in order for one of them to earn a parliamentary seat citizens would have to vote almost exclusively for that particular list, which is very far from likely. However, their presence in the Junts pel Sí list (‘Together for the Yes’) is likely to be a magnet for attracting the support of a greater number voters. The candidature brings together the main civil society organisations supporting independence, Catalonia’s two largest parties right now and some other smaller political forces.

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10 August 2015 11:12 PM

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ACN

Barcelona (ACN).- The pro-independence cross-party list for the forthcoming 27 September Catalan elections, which will be transformed into a ‘de facto’ plebiscite on independence, will be symbolically closed by the last 3 Presidents of the Catalan Parliament and by the current Bayern Munich coach, Pep Guardiola. They will occupy the symbolic last 4 positions on the 85-name list for the Province of Barcelona, with one name for each of the 85 MPs aiming to be elected in this constituency, the main one of the 4 Catalan provinces. None of them stand a chance of being elected, as in order for one of them to earn a parliamentary seat citizens would have to vote almost exclusively for that particular candidate, which is very far from likely. However, their presence in the Junts pel Sí list (‘Together for the Yes’) is likely to be a magnet for attracting the support of a greater number of voters. The candidature bring together the main civil society organisations supporting independence (Òmnium Cultural and the Catalan National Assembly), Catalonia’s two largest parties right now (Liberal CDC and Social-Democrat ERC) and some other smaller political forces such as the Christian Democrat party DC and the Socialist MES.


The presence of Pep Guardiola in 85th position of the Junts pel Sí list for Barcelona had already been revealed a few days ago. However, there had not been an official announcement regarding the presence of the last 3 Presidents of the Catalan Parliament. Two of them, Núria de Gispert and Joan Rigol, are former members of the Christian-Democrat party UDC, which used to form the centre-right coalition CiU with the Liberal CDC. The third former Speaker is Ernest Benach is a member of the Social-Democrat ERC. From an institutional and protocol point of view, the President of the Catalan Parliament is Catalonia’s second authority after the President of the Catalan Government.

De Gispert and Rigol left their former political party a few weeks ago, when the UDC and CDC split and the Christian-Democrat leadership strengthened its anti-independence stance. De Gispert, born in 1949, has been President of the Catalan Parliament since late 2010. She was one of the main figures which founded the new pro-independence Christian-Democrat party DC. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, De Gispert was the Catalan Minister for Justice.

Joan Rigol, who chaired Catalonia’s Parliament between 1999 and 2003, is a widely-respected figure and left UDC in late June. In the last few years, Rigol, who was born in 1943, has chaired the board for the reconstruction of the Sagrada Família Basilica. Furthermore, since 2013, he has chaired the National Alliance for Self-Determination, a cross-party and civil society platform grouping together more than 3,500 organisations supporting Catalonia’s right to self-determination (such as public institution, political parties, trade unions, business associations, chambers of commerce, cultural associations and sports clubs like FC Barcelona).

Finally, Ernest Benach, born in 1959, chaired the Catalan Chamber during the ruling period of the three-party left-wing coalition that ran the Catalan Government between late 2003 and late 2010, afterwards stepping down from front-line politics.

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  • From left to right: Ernest Benach, Joan Rigol and Núria de Gispert (by R. Garrido)

  • From left to right: Ernest Benach, Joan Rigol and Núria de Gispert (by R. Garrido)