Pro-independence parties fast track referendum law
JxSí and CUP-Crida Constituent resort to ‘fast-track’ legislation in Catalan parliament to register bill for October 1 vote on self-determination
The pro-independence parties with a majority in the Catalan parliament have used new ‘fast-track’ legislation to register a bill that will allow a self-determination referendum. On Monday, the Together for Yes (JxSí) and CUP-Crida Constituent groups introduced the referendum bill using legislation that is currently before the Constitutional Court (TC in Spanish) following an appeal by the Spanish government.
On Wednesday July 26, the Catalan parliament passed a reform of legislation in which new bills would only require a single reading. Two days later, the Spanish President Mariano Rajoy announced that his government had referred the amendment to the TC, which was scheduled to examine the issue on Monday afternoon. Last Friday, Rajoy justified the appeal saying, “the only intention of the reform is the urgent approval, without basic democratic guarantees, of laws that aim to destroy national sovereignty.”
“We are committed to moving forward; democracy in Catalonia cannot be stopped by either Rajoy or Constitutional Court”
Lluís Corominas · President of the JxSí coalition
Yet, on Monday, president of the JxSí coalition Lluís Corominas, spokesperson Marta Rovira, coalition member Jordi Orobitg, and MPs Benet Salellas and Gabriela Serra from the CUP party, appeared before the press to justify the bill’s introduction. Calling the decision a “response” to the Spanish government’s appeal, Corominas said “we are committed to moving forward; democracy in Catalonia cannot be stopped by either Rajoy or Constitutional Court.” While neither Corominas nor JxSí spokesperson, Rovira, were willing to say how they would respond if the TC finds the ‘fast-track’ legislation to be unconstitutional, Rovira did say: “If the TC has something to say, let it say it, and we will go on taking decisions based on the facts.”
In a separate appearance, Catalan Vice President and Minister of the Economy and Treasury Oriol Junqueras told the press that the Catalan referendum law would be passed normally, “the same as with any other legal initiative.” Seemingly unfazed by the possibility that the TC could suspend the ‘fast-track’ legislation, Junqueras suggested that the Constitutional Court was “fed up” with the Spanish government “using it in the role of a repressive body that prohibits everything.” Junqueras also pointed out that the State executive itself passed the reform of the Spanish Constitution in a single reading and that almost no one was “scandalized”.