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Mas expects 27-S list solution in "just a few days"

The President of the Catalan Government, Artur Mas, expressed doubts about the latest proposals made regarding the unitary independence electoral list Wednesday. "I'm the only one who can call an election. I will not do anything", he warned, in the event that the movement is not serious enough. In an interview with 8TV, Mas questioned the absence of politicians, the idea of having two consecutive elections and also the option of not investing in a President, as outlined in the CUP proposal for a preliminary election leaving out politicians followed immediately by a constituent election. So far, Mas has emphasised that the proposal from the CUP is an "original idea, which restores unity – something to consider, but also something far from perfect". However, he said he will analyse various proposals at a summit to be convened on Friday with all stakeholders. But CUP deputy and spokesperson David Fernández said Friday that his party would not join the summit, asking for it to be postponed.

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10 July 2015 09:32 PM

by

ACN

Barcelona (ACN) – The President of the Catalan Government, Artur Mas, expressed doubts about the latest proposals made regarding the unitary independence electoral list Wednesday. "I'm the only one who can call an election. I will not do anything", he warned, in the event that the movement is not serious enough. In an interview with 8TV, Mas questioned the absence of politicians, the idea of having two consecutive elections and also the option of not investing in a President, as outlined in the CUP proposal for a preliminary election leaving out politicians followed immediately by a constituent election. So far, Mas has emphasised that the proposal from the CUP is an "original idea, which restores unity – something to consider, but also something to perfect". However, he said he will analyse various proposals at a summit to be convened on Friday with all stakeholders. But CUP deputy and spokesperson David Fernández said Friday that his party would not join the summit, asking for it to be postponed. 


At the moment, Mas has expressed reservations about some of the pro-independence list proposals on the table. The latest of these was presented by CUP, in which member Quim Arrufat suggested a list made up entirely of civil society for the 27-S so that the election remains a plebiscite on independence. After these elections, if the civil society list wins, a Declaration of Independence would be drafted, and then Parliament would be dissolved after two months, according to the CUP plan. That government would neglect to choose a President so there can be constituent elections again immediately afterward, as opposed to waiting until the next term.

Mas is encouraging discussion about 27-S list

To deal with all of the different ideas being circulated, Mas said he would call a summit with pro-independence parties and civil society entities to understand and analyse the latest proposals that different actors have put on the table, but at this point, CUP deputy and spokesperson David Fernández has said that his party wants a "postponement". He assured that their request was in light of the national assembly on Saturday and that they”prefer to listen” to their party members first. However, Fernández admitted that overall, they wanted to cancel the appointment because they“cannot work with the determined format".

After Fernández's comments, Mas continued to urge all parties and organisations to collaborate to come to a solution. The Advisory Council for Economic Recovery and Growth (CAREC) brought 24 reports from the last four and a half years together and published them in a book and delivered it to the President of the Catalan Government on Friday. Mas used the event to highlight the work of the councils and other government advisers that "sometimes overcome this image that some have of our country as a land of cliques". In such organisations, he said, "very different" people work with "different sensibilities", but  they are capable of working in the same direction.

Mas made this implicit reference to negotiations for a unitary election list, but then alluded more directly to it when he acknowledged that the country is entering a stage whose end remains to be seen. "We will see what kind of government we have and what composition it will have. This is now under discussion, hopefully for just a few days", he said. In any case, he added that he hopes the upcoming government maintains the work the advisory councils have done because they are a sign of a "modern and mature" country.

Questions about CUP proposal remain

In regard to a list without politicians, the President warned that if the pro-independence bloc does not win, the Parliament might as well be "delivered" to the parties opposed to independence for four years. This, he said, "would be an own goal". "If the aim is to win, does it not all add up? When a team takes the field and has a very important competition to play, they play the best available", he argued. And added:: "There are politicians in this country that have made a decisive contribution because things have reached the point they have reached".

Fernández, however, expressed his concern about the integrity of a plebiscite election if politicians like Mas are present on the list. "Make it a plebiscite in a clearer sense and substitute the referendum with a list without members of political parties, which would not open paths in any governance scenario, and which would create a three-and-a-half month transition with constituent elections", he said, also warning that "this is not a referendum on Artur Mas and making it so would trip up the process".  

Mas also asked if it would be possible to solve this unique referendum with one election instead of convening two consecutive elections, as proposed by the CUP, highlighting that there will be Spanish general elections by the end of the year, meaning there would be three elections in five months. Furthermore, on the possibility of not investing in a President, he said he does not know if this is legally possible, because it could be challenged and considered "legal fraud".

The President cautioned that ultimately he has the power to call elections and will not do anything unless the movement is serious enough. In his opinion, the election should be done "perfectly" if Catalan independence is to become a reality. Mas said he was not referring to possibly calling off the election – which, as Fernández pointed out, has not been formally convened yet – but rather that his role in the government moving forward will hinge on how collaboration between political parties and civil society works out in the near future.

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  • David Fernández and Artur Mas talking in the Catalan Parliament (by ACN)

  • David Fernández and Artur Mas talking in the Catalan Parliament (by ACN)