Pro-independence far-right Aliança Catalana to rule in northern town of Ripoll

Sílvia Orriols appointed new mayor after rest of parties fail to reach deal to block anti-immigration force

Ripoll mayor Sílvia Orriols after being appointed the head of the municipality on June 17, 2023
Ripoll mayor Sílvia Orriols after being appointed the head of the municipality on June 17, 2023 / Lourdes Casademont
Catalan News

Catalan News | @catalannews | Ripoll

June 17, 2023 12:44 PM

June 18, 2023 06:27 PM

The Catalan pro-independence far-right Aliança Catalana leader, Sílvia Orriols, was appointed as the new mayor of the northern town of Ripoll on Saturday in a very suspenseful investiture plenary.

Orriols was the most voted party on the local elections on May 28, reaching 6 councilors, 3 short of the absolute majority.

With this in mind, the rest of the parties tried to reach a deal to block the anti-immigration political group, but while the Socialists and far-left CUP voted for Esquerra Republicana's candidate Chantal Pérez Capdevila, pro-independence Junts, the second most voted party, wanted to lead the coalition but left-wing parties did not back the proposal.

During Saturday's vote to appoint the new mayor, Orriols got the support of the 6 councilors of Aliança Catalana, Manoli Vega from Junts, the 3 from the group she represents, and ERC's Pérez Capdevila, 7.

The absolute majority stands at 9 councilors, and if no majority is reached, the most voted party during the elections takes the top spot.

"I would like to thank all Ripoll residents who have made this result possible," Orriols said after being appointed mayor. 

"For those who wanted for change and to elect me as Ripoll's first-ever female mayor since the restoration of democracy that wins a local election," she added.

Regarding her far-right involvement, the new mayor said that "Ripoll will not have a far-right government," as the newly elected councilors will rule "with responsibility and bravery."

Minutes before, she had already said that those who voted for her are "exhausted of seeing privileges and favor deals to those who call on to kill unbelievers, tired of seeing on the streets more women covering her heads than those with their hair in the wind."

Potential deal, but failed short

Since the night of the local elections, the parties started negotiating to reach a deal to block Orriols' party. Junts wanted to lead the deal as they were the second most-voted party, but far-left CUP and the Socialists supported the other left-wing party, Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya.

"During the last days, Ripoll has been the epicenter of Catalonia, but we have to return to normality, we have tried from Junts to add some thought and to look for a dialogue with the centrist forces, referring to ERC and PSC, as we had common ground with them, but we still call for a centrist and democratic government," Manoli Vega, Junts' representative, said during the plenary session.

The suspense was felt, as until the last minute, no one knew if there would be a new decision made that could see the final results overturned.

"From Monday, we will propose a motion of no confidence to stop hate speech, and I hope you support me," Vega added before the vote.

On the other hand, ERC's candidate called on forces to "work and offer their commitment to work for Ripoll, to make sure they recover their trust in the public administration, and to make sure citizens are aware that the government wants a Ripoll that faces the future challenges," Chantal Pérez Capdevila said.