Pro-independence parties call on parliament to 'reiterate' self-determination

Main groups in favor of Catalan republic present motion supporting suspended resolutions affirming right to decide and admonishing monarchy

The Catalan government will continue to fight for self-determination (by Guillem Rosset)
The Catalan government will continue to fight for self-determination (by Guillem Rosset) / ACN

ACN | Barcelona

October 22, 2019 12:51 PM

The three main pro-independence parties came together on Tuesday in the Catalan parliament with a joint motion to reiterate previous resolutions defending Catalonia's self-determination and sovereignty, and admonishing Spain's King Felipe VI.

The resolutions passed by the chamber on July 25 were challenged by the Spanish government in the Constitutional Court, which partially suspended them in early October, warning of potential legal consequences if its ruling is disobeyed.

It is the first agreement between the JxCat, ERC and CUP pro-independence parties since Spain's Supreme Court sentenced nine Catalan leaders who organized the banned October 1, 2017 referendum to jail terms of between nine and 13 years for sedition.

The initiative comes after some recent high profile divisions and differences among the pro-independence parties, who between them have a narrow majority in the Catalan parliament, while JxCat and ERC make up the current coalition in government.

Tuesday's motion says that parliament "reiterates and will reiterate as many times as MPs choose the disapproval of the monarchy, the defense of self-determination and the affirmation of the sovereignty of the people of Catalonia to decide their political future."

Parliament Speaker assumes legal consequences

Speaker of the Parliament, Roger Torrent, announced that he would assume all legal consequences for passing motions that have been suspended by Spain's Constitutional Court. 

Pro-independence Torrent, a member of the ERC party, believes that "the fight is worth it," stepping up against what he deems as Spain's attempts to "gag" the Catalan Parliament. 

His predecessor in the role, Carme Forcadell, was handed a prison sentence of 11.5 years for her role in the 2017 independence push, namely allowing motions in the parliament pass that paved the way for the referendum to take place. 

Attempt to "feign" unity, say Socialists

The Catalan Socialist party reacted to the motion by accusing the pro-independence parties of trying to "feign" unity with an institutional response to the Supreme Court's sentencing of the leaders that "leads to no practical result."

Announcing that the party will challenge the motion's presentation with the parliament bureau, a spokesman added that if the pro-independence parties were to attempt to retable the motion to put it to parliament before that, then the party would vote against it.

As for the unionist Ciutadans party, they called the motion "unacceptable" because it "aims to amend a court ruling," adding that they would demand that the parliament "suspend" the presentation of the motion to the chamber.