Parties make final plea to voters on final day of campaign

Sunday’s Catalan election will take place in the middle of a global pandemic

Candidates from the nine parties ahead of an election debate on 'La Sexta', February 11, 2021
Candidates from the nine parties ahead of an election debate on 'La Sexta', February 11, 2021 / ACN

ACN | Barcelona

February 12, 2021 08:12 PM

Two weeks of campaigning comes to a close on Friday with parties making a final plea to voters ahead of Sunday's Catalan election.

Pere Aragonès of Esquerra Republicana (ERC), who has been acting president since former president Quim Torra was removed from office in September 2020, called on "all Catalans, republicans, progressives, and those in favor of independence to vote for Esquerra Republicana."

ERC are one of three parties who polls say are in with a chance of emerging on Sunday as the electorate's number one choice, along with their partners in the last government, Junts per Catalunya and, on the other side of the independence debate, the Socialists.

Their leader, Salvador Illa, said that the choice on Sunday was between the "hatred" of pro-independence parties and "the change that [the Socialists] represent."

The left-wing Catalunya en Comú-Podem (CatECP) say the only alternative to another pro-independence government (the most likely outcome according to the polls) is a coalition involving them and other parties of the left.

"These elections are a plebiscite between the mismanagement we have right now and a broad left-wing government," their main candidate Jéssica Albiach said on Friday.

All pro-independence parties including Junts per Catalunya (JxCat), PDeCAT, CUP, and ERC—signed a written agreement on Wednesday evening promising not to form a government with the Socialists.

But in the final TV debate on Thursday night, JxCat's presidential candidate Laura Borràs claimed that ERC, their governing partners in the last parliament, could seek an alliance with the Socialists following Sunday’s vote.

Borràs said that voting for her party, led by former Catalan president Carles Puigdemont, was the way to "guarantee" that there would be no three-party left-wing coalition.

One of the issues on the campaign trail during the past week has been housing and on Friday, Dolors Sabater of the far-left pro-independence CUP called on ERC and JxCat to "choose a side" in the "war for the right to housing."

However, Àngels Chacón, of the pro-independence PDeCAT urged voters to avoid "confusing" independence with left-wing policies and repeated once again her party's stance of "political and social centrality."

Battle for unionists votes

With polls showing the Socialists in the lead among the unionist parties, Carlos Carrizosa of Ciudadanos (Cs) made an appeal to floating voters on Friday, claiming his party was "the only vote that will not disappoint constitutionalism." He said that the Socialists had been "sold to ERC and CatECP."

At an event in Terrassa, the People's Party said that they were the party that could put an end to the independence push once and for all. "We were already there when others did not exist or did not run in the elections," said Pablo Casado, the leader of the party in Spain, referring to election rivals Cs and Vox.

Far-right Vox, meanwhile, called pro-independence supporters "cowards who have government support" and promised to "cut them off" if they win the election.