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Maragall rejects pro-independence unity ticket to win Barcelona

ERC’s likely candidate opens the door to others joining his ticket

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23 September 2018 12:25 PM

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ACN | Barcelona

Ernest Maragall, Catalonia’s foreign affairs minister and ERC party’s most likely candidate for Barcelona mayor, has rejected joining a unity ticket encompassing all pro-independence parties to win the local election in 2019.

When Alfred Bosch stepped down as ERC’s leader on Friday and supported Maragall as his successor, politicians in other pro-independence groups called once again for a joint candidacy—a possibility that ERC, once again, ruled out.

"I leave the door open to those who like ERC’s project," said Maragall in an interview with Catalonia’s public radio. He hinted at the possibility of having people outside the party joining his candidacy.

  • "I leave the door open to those who like ERC’s project"

    Ernest Maragall · Catalan foreign minister

David Bonvehí, the head of the PDeCAT party, an ERC ally, called on Maragall to stand on a ticket representing a coalition of pro-independence parties. "I ask him to talk to us about this again," said Bonvehí, who insisted that the pro-independence parties should bid to win Barcelona "from a position of total unity in the pro-independence camp."

Since running together with PDeCAT in the Catalan election in 2015, ERC has repeatedly rejected joining more unity tickets.

ERC came in fourth place in the previous local election, but polls suggest that is the party best positioned to dethrone mayor Ada Colau from the city council. 

Forming government with Colau

While Bosch was a blatant detractor of Colau, Maragall says he would be open to forming a coalition government with her after the election. According to him, Barcelona citizens want a "progressive" government.

Maragall stressed that his running for office is not a done deal yet. If his candidacy is confirmed, he is expected to leave his post at the Catalan government to fully concentrate in the election.

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  • Foreign minister Ernest Maragall (by Blanca Blay)

  • Foreign minister Ernest Maragall (by Blanca Blay)