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Opposition blasts Torra for not calling election ahead of possible disqualification

Parties view potential interim period without operational president with concern


16 September 2020 06:47 PM



In a rare display of unity in Catalan politics, opposition parties took Wednesday's general policies debate in Parliament as an opportunity to blast Catalonia's president, Quim Torra, for not calling an election ahead of his possible political disqualification.

Torra was barred from office for hanging signs in favor of the jailed pro-independence leaders on public buildings last December – yet, this ruling was not final and the Supreme Court will review his case on Thursday, September 17.

If this ruling is upheld, Catalonia faces a potential interim period without an operational president as Parliament would have to choose his successor – yet Junts per Catalunya and Esquerra have already agreed not to do so.

Failure to reach parliamentary consensus would eventually lead to an election in early 2021.

MPs of disparate colors, from the conservative People's Party to the far-left CUP, criticized Torra's apparent decision to keep his post until, perhaps, ousted.

Ciudadanos: Government's behavior "unacceptable"

Carlos Carrizosa, head of the most voted opposition party in Parliament, Ciudadanos, called the government's behavior "unacceptable," adding that his party would not let it "keep degrading our institutions."

According to him, the pro-independence camp has created an "ideological climate of persecuting dissidents," for which his party will work to avoid political deadlock if Torra is ousted.

People's Party: Authorities threatening "unprecedented institutional deadlock"

"You are threatening us with an unprecedented institutional deadlock at the worst time in our history and when we need unity the most," complained the People's Party's Alejandro Fernández.

"We could have three presidents: the 'legitimate', Puigdemont; 'the symbolic', Torra; and an interim one," Fernández said with irony of the interim period.

Socialists: Cabinet is "poor, with bad management and a lot of division"

Meanwhile, according to Catalan Socialist leader Miquel Iceta, Quim Torra's government has been "poor, with bad management and a lot of division."

Iceta defended "opening a new era" leaving the independence push aside and urged Torra to call an early election before a potential interim period.

Catalunya En Comú: "Give up political gesticulations"

Jessica Albiach, of the Catalan branch of Podemos, Catalunya En Comú, asked the Catalan government to "give up these political gesticulations," especially in the midst of the pandemic.

"It's unacceptable that we find ourselves in such a brutal crisis with two symbolic presidents and no fully operational president."

CUP: "We need elections"

During Wednesday's debate, far-left CUP's Carles Riera called for a "100% public health system" and to strive for fully public energy, water and education facilities.

Though like the other opposition parties, he also demanded an early election be called due to the government's "clear signs of political wear, gridlock and of having hit a dead end."