Pressure rises on Parliament to appoint Socialist leader to Senate
Catalan parties urged to grant Miquel Iceta seat he needs to become speaker of Spain's upper house
Clearing the way for the head of the Catalan Socialist party (PSC), Miquel Iceta, to become president of the Spanish Senate will create an "opportunity" for dialogue and will strengthen Catalonia's self-government, argues a manifesto signed by leading left-leaning figures.
Iceta has been nominated by acting Spanish president, Pedro Sánchez, to lead Spain's upper house, but in order to take up the speaker's position he must first be appointed a senator by the Catalan Parliament, which is due to vote on the issue on Thursday.
A process that would normally be a formality has become something of a bone of contention, as the pro-independence parties in Parliament drag their feet in backing Iceta's appointment, due to his opposition to Catalan self-determination.
- "The Parliament is not anyone's subject. Today, a 'no' [vote] is inevitable."
Former Catalan president, José Montilla, last week gave up his Senate seat to make way for Iceta, and the manifesto says that PSC has the right to propose a replacement, especially someone who is a "supporter of finding a political solution to the problem of Catalonia."
The Socialist candidate for mayor of Barcelona in the upcoming local elections, Jaume Collboni, added his support of Iceta, telling the pro-independence parties that vetoing the appointment would "break the rules of the game" as well as being "sectarian."
The pro-independence Esquerra party (ERC) has confirmed that it will vote against Iceta's appointment since the Socialists voted in favor of Article 155 imposing direct rule in Catalonia, stating that "the Parliament is not anyone's subject. Today, a 'no' [vote] is inevitable."
The Junts per Catalunya party (JxCat) is considering abstaining, which would allow the appointment, as long as the unionist Ciutadans party (Cs) votes in favor.
So far, Cs has said it does not oppose the appointment, but still has to decide whether to abstain or not, while the far-left pro-independence CUP party has already announced its intention to vote against the Socialist leader's appointment.