MPs reject Mas' candidacy again
For the first time in the Parliament's history, a candidate for President hasn't obtained a majority in the second round. This Thursday, 73 MPs from the 135 in the Catalan chamber refused to re-elect current President Artur Mas, which is exactly the same result that the candidate got in the first round of the investiture debate. The only MPs who supported Mas' candidacy were the 62 of the pro-independence cross-party list, 'Junts Pel Sí'. Their partner in the roadmap towards independence, radical left CUP, repeated their 'no' to Mas, as they repeatedly announced they would. In the following weeks, the parliamentary groups will hold meetings to choose an alternative candidate, but if one is not chosen before the 10th of January, the Parliament will have to call elections again.
Barcelona (CNA).- The election of a new President of Catalonia will again have to wait. 73 MPs from the 135 in the Catalan chamber refused this Thursday to re-elect current President, Artur Mas, which is exactly the same result that the candidate got in the first round of the investiture debate. The only MPs who supported Mas' candidacy were the 62 members of the pro-independence cross-party list, 'Junts Pel Sí'. Their partner in the roadmap towards independence, radical left CUP, repeated their 'no' to Mas, as they repeatedly announced they would. The schedule for the upcoming weeks established that the parliamentary groups will hold meetings and continue to negotiate in order to present an alternative candidate, but if one is not chosen before the 10th of January, the Parliament will have to call elections again. This is the first time in the Parliament's history that a candidate hasn't obtained a majority to be instated in the second round.
A simple majority would have been enough to instate Mas as President but the current President’s candidacy didn't get the required support. The parliamentary groups which voted against Mas' re-election (all did so except for 'Junts Pel Sí'), used the same arguments as in the first round of the debate. Even CUP, which has been negotiating with the cross-party list since the 27-S elections, refused again to make Mas President.
CUP: This is a 'no' to say 'yes' to more people
Radical left CUP maintain the position they defended throughout the 27-S election campaign: they won't instate Mas as President. Meetings and negotiations between winning coalition 'Junts Pel Sí' and CUP have been ongoing since the result of the 27-S elections became known, but they still haven't reached an agreement regarding who will be the next Catalan President.
After their first 'no' to Mas' candidacy, 'Junts Pel Sí' suggested the creation of a "government with shared responsibilities" and named three vice-presidents: left-wing pro-independence ERC's leader as vice-president in charge of economic matters, current Government spokeswoman Neus Munté as Social Affairs vice-president and 'Junts Pel Sí' top member, former MEP Raül Romeva, as the vice-president responsible for Foreign Affairs. However, CUP members won't accept making Mas President again. "We certainly appreciate such movement, especially if we are talking about negotiations" stated CUP's leader, Antonio Baños, "but it is insufficient if we want to enhance the social spectrum of the pro-independence supporters". "Our 'no' is a relaxed one, it is not an obstinate 'no', it is a 'no' to say 'yes' to more people". Baños repeated CUP's willingness to negotiate and assured that they will be "the last to leave the table". "We need a solid agreement, which requires time" he stated, "we won't fall into the trap of dividing ourselves. We have a common goal".
Ciutadans: Mas' attitude endangers Catalonia's institutions and citizens
The head of the opposition and leader of anti-Catalan nationalism Ciutadans, Inés Arrimadas, accused Mas of being "irresponsible" as he is going ahead with the pro-independence process despite the declaration to start the process having been suspended by the Spanish Constitutional Court. "This attitude endangers Catalonia's self-government and Parliament" she stated, referring to the possible disobedience of the resolution by the authorities. "You are putting this chamber in danger, but also the public servants and all the citizens of Catalonia".
PSC: The Presidency is not the object of a raffle
"We don't want to witness the auction of the Presidency, it is not the object of a raffle" stated the leader of the Catalan Socialist Party, PSC, Miquel Iceta "This country doesn't deserve it. Not even you deserve this". Iceta also referred to the "government of shared responsibilities" that 'Junts Pel Sí' has suggested, stating that it will be "a decorative, coral and polyphonic" presidency which "won't last long". "'No' to independence, 'no' to breaking the law and 'no' to this investiture" insisted Iceta.
PPC to Mas: You will go down in history for humiliating this institution
The leader of the Catalan People's Party, PPC, Xavier García Albiol, was very tough in his intervention and recommended Mas to find other partners rather than CUP, which he said was "the most radical party in Europe". "You will go down in history for depreciating and humiliating this institution" he stated, referring to Mas' proposal to create a coral government.
'CSQP': Mas is "incapable" of generating social and political consensus
"The only place where Mas' roadmap will not lead us is to the Catalan Republic" assured Lluís Rabell, alternative left coalition 'Catalunya Sí que es Pot's leader. Rabell referred to the pro-independence declaration and declared that Mas is "incapable" of generating the social and political consensus required to launch his project. "We need a government to recompose the social majority which supports the referendum" and which can "attract the sympathies of democratic Spanish public opinion, rather than throw us to the archaic right wing's arms".
In the next weeks, the parliamentary groups will hold meetings and continue to negotiate in order to present an alternative candidate, but if one is not chosen before the 10th of January, the Parliament will have to call elections again. In relation to this, CUP's leader Antonio Baños admitted that calling elections "would be a reactionary measure", but Mas admitted that they are "a possible choice" and they should never be "denigrated". The current President also emphasised CUP's "co-responsibility" for reaching an agreement, which he suggested would have to come "in the following days".