PP urges Cs to trigger no confidence motion to bring down Catalan government
Casado sees "historic opportunity" to dethrone pro-independence executive after parties lost majority in chamber
The leader of the People's Party (PP), Pablo Casado, has urged the liberal Ciutadans party (Cs) to present a motion of no confidence to bring down the Catalan government.
In a speech in the Spanish Congress, the leader of the Spanish conservatives said that there is a "historic opportunity" to expel pro-independence parties from the Catalan executive after they lost their majority in Parliament on Tuesday.
Casado also urged the Spanish president, Pedro Sánchez, to back the motion of no confidence. "We'll see, Mr Sánchez, if you are with the constitutionalists or those responsible for a coup, one cannot be equidistant here, an urgent change is needed in Catalonia," the PP leader said.
However, his strategy is doomed to fail, as Cs has already admitted that it doesn't have "the numbers" to win a motion of no confidence and dethrone Quim Torra as Catalan president.
Pro-independence parties won 70 seats in the last election, in December 21, 2017. However, they are now only able to cast 61 votes in the chamber, far from the threshold majority, set at 68.
Four JxCat MPs - former president Carles Puigdemont, and jailed leaders Jordi Turull, Josep Rull and Jordi Sánchez, are not allowed to vote after the Spanish Supreme Court suspended them and they refused to name substitutes to replace them. They insisted they should be able to vote by proxy as they have done until now. However, the Parliament Bureau refused to accept their proxy vote, in a decision that for the first time divided the pro-independence parties.
Two jailed MPs also suspended by the courts, Oriol Junqueras and Raül Romeva, designated substitutes and so their votes will be counted. A fifth MP, exiled former minister Toni Comín, doesn't vote, as his case is waiting for an appeal.
Spanish president urges Casado to 'go back to center'
Meanwhile, the Spanish president, Pedro Sánchez, rebuffed Pablo Casado's attempts to bring down the Catalan government, saying that he should work towards constructive solutions for Catalonia.
Sánchez criticized the PP for not giving support to the Socialists on Catalonia, and urged the conservatives to "go back to the center" and avoid "radicalizing".
"Go back to the center, get moderation back," Sánchez urged Casado.
Meanwhile, sources in the Spanish government confirmed that they don’t see the point in pushing for a motion of no confidence in Catalonia because that would "bring [the pro-independence parties] back together".
According to them, the new Spanish government strategy of engaging in dialogue with Barcelona is working and has made the pro-independence parties face their own "contradictions."