Parties criticize motion of no confidence against president for being 'opportunist'

Motion to be voted on Monday evening does have enough parliamentary support to be successful

Catalan Socialist leader Miquel Iceta speaking during the debate on the motion of no confidence against president Quim Torra on October 7, 2019 (by Rafa Garrido)
Catalan Socialist leader Miquel Iceta speaking during the debate on the motion of no confidence against president Quim Torra on October 7, 2019 (by Rafa Garrido) / Cristina Tomàs White

Cristina Tomàs White | Barcelona

October 7, 2019 04:38 PM

As Monday's debate prior to the vote of no confidence against Catalan president Quim Torra gets underway in the Catalan parliament, it has become exceedingly clear that the motion will not be successful as it is only backed by Ciutadans and the People’s Party, with other parties criticizing it as an 'opportunist' campaign move ahead of the Spain's general election on November 10.

Budó: “Ciutadans wants to divide and create conflicts”

Rather than answering opening speaker Cs MP Carlos Carrizosa’s remarks himself, Quim Torra chose to have government spokesperson Meritxell Budó respond.

Budó, of the Junts per Catalunya party, only spoke for 10 of the 30 minutes allocated for her response, describing the motion as “electioneering” ahead of Spain’s November 10 general election and Cs as attempting to “divide the country.”

According to Budó, Ciutdans “is only interested in conflict and putting on a show. In fact, that is why the party was born: to divide and to create conflicts where there weren’t any.”

Iceta: "You’ve had a lot of screen time, but Torra will be victorious"

The leader of the Catalan Socialists, Miquel Iceta, gave a level-headed speech on his reasons for not backing Roldán’s party’s motion.

While making it explicitly clear that the Socialists do not approve of Quim Torra’s government or the independence movement, Iceta explained that his party would be abstaining because they do not approve of Lorena Roldán either, nor will they support a vote that is “condemned to failure.”

"You’ve had a lot of screen time, but Torra will be victorious," Iceta stated, criticizing Roldán for not consulting with other parties before deciding to present a motion of no confidence backed by a minority of MPs.

Iceta also told Roldán that it was “radically false” to present her motion as a Manichean solution to the Catalan independence conflict, arguing that there were still 2 million people that had voted in favor of pro-independence parties in Catalonia and that her failed motion was therefore not one in favor of "coexistence," but an "opportunist" move ahead of Spain’s general election.

Albiach: "This is Ciutadans' third electoral campaign event"

In the same vein, Jessica Albiach, of Catalunya en Comú, denounced the motion of no confidence as an electoral act ahead of November's general election in Spain, calling it the party's "third electoral campaign event."

Like Iceta, Albiach criticized Quim Torra's government for a number of reasons, including citing only macroeconomic figures as proof of the economic crisis being an issue of the past or not having Interior Minister Miquel Buch respond to questions on police brutality.

However, the Catalunya en Comú MP also had many negative things to say about Ciutadans too, which according to Albiach justify her party's choice to vote against the motion.

These reasons range from the fact that Ciutadans in Andalusia, among other places in Spain, has forged alliances with far-right party Vox and has not backed the socially-progressive measures it claims to be in favor of, to "trivializing terrorism" with Roldán's decision to show an image of a 1991 ETA terrorist attack in Vic or not realizing that "Spanish nationalism is also nationalism."

Aragonés: Cs' only political proposal is "Spain, Spain, Spain"

Vidal Aragonés, MP for the far-left pro-independence party CUP, also called out Lorena Roldán's party for what he called a  "sham" motion of no confidence, which according to him is an attempt to "criminalize" the Catalan president and the independence movement.

In addition to the motion itself, he criticized Cs' policy proposals for only being centered around "Spain, Spain, Spain," while also asking that the Socialists clarify whether they would be willing to form a coalition government with Cs in the event that they fail to achieve a majority in the upcoming snap election.

Pro-independence allies back Quim Torra

As was to be expected, the two main pro-independence parties expressed their support for Quim Torra: Esquerra Republicana (ERC) and his own Junts per Catalunya (JxCat) party.

MP Sergi Sabrià took to the stand for ERC, unequivocally telling Roldán that she "will never be Catalonia's president."

When it was JxCat's Albert Batet's turn to speak, he insisted on highlighting the independence movement's pacifism and stated that Catalonia's diversity should be seen as an asset rather than a liability.