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Puigdemont vs Junqueras – round 2

Catalan parties put forward leading politicians for Spanish and European elections


11 March 2019 04:44 PM


Guifré Jordan | Barcelona

Former Catalan president Carles Puigdemont will face his former deputy Oriol Junqueras in the European election.

It will be the second time that they face each other in a vote after they were both dismissed by the Madrid government when it suspended Catalonia's self-rule in October 2017.

In their first clash, in the December 2017 Catalan election, Puigdemont beat Junqueras by a slight margin, with Ciutadans outperforming both.

Yet, neither have been able to attend a session of the Catalan parliament, as the former is in exile, and the latter is in preventive detention. In fact, given their legal situation, it is still unclear whether either will be able to become MEPs.   

The Catalan parties are currently working on candidacies for the April 28 Spanish snap election, and the May 26 local and European polls.

Puigdemont's Junts per Catalunya party (JxCat) announced this weekend that he will top their ticket in the European election.

Jailed leaders and relatives in top spots

JxCat also reached agreement with allies PDeCAT, for whom jailed leader Jordi Sànchez will lead a candidacy for the Barcelona constituency in the Spanish vote, followed by the Catalan culture minister Laura Borràs, MP in Madrid Míriam Nogueras, and MEP Ramon Tremosa.

In the Lleida and Tarragona constituencies, the jailed former ministers Jordi Turull and Josep Rull will head the tickets, while Puigdemont's lawyer, Jaume-Alonso Cuevillas, will make the leap into politics by running as the main candidate for the Girona constituency.

Also in the dock, former minister Joaquim Forn will be the number one candidate in the Barcelona election, with the current government spokesperson Elsa Artadi and the former Catalan vice president Neus Munté following.

Pro-independence Esquerra Republicana's ticket in both the Spanish and European elections will be led by the also jailed leader Oriol Junqueras.

In the EU vote, he will be followed by the also incarcerated former minister Raül Romeva's partner, Diana Riba. In the Spanish one, it will be Montse Bassa, sister of Dolors Bassa, another former official behind bars. In Barcelona, the candidate for mayor is Ernest Maragall, who used to be foreign minister.

Far-left CUP drops plans to run in Spanish poll –but aims to be strong in towns

The other pro-independence party, the far-left CUP, has never run in the Spanish election. While it recently considered doing so for the first time, in the end the idea was dropped, after the party decided on Sunday that it should focus on the local poll. The activist Anna Saliente, specialized in gender policies, will head their ticket in the Barcelona election.

Colau hopeful for second mandate as Barcelona mayor

The non-aligned left-wing Catalunya en Comú party will join the Podemos-led coalition in the Spanish election, and the lawyer and deputy Barcelona mayor Jaume Asens will be its number one in Catalonia. Pablo Iglesias will be the leader on the Spanish level.

Ernest Urtasun will again be the frontrunner for the MEP post, while Ada Colau will also run for the second time to remain Barcelona mayor.  

Former French PM in the Barcelona race; head of opposition moves to Madrid

The main unionist party in the country, Ciutadans, will have Inés Arrimadas as its main candidate in Catalonia on April 28, with Albert Rivera bidding for Spain's presidency in the Madrid constituency.

In Barcelona, Manuel Valls will top an independent candidacy, supported by Ciutadans –and with one party official following the former French PM.

And in Europe, the vice president of the ALDE party, Luis Garicano, will run for MEP.

Socialists: close allies of candidates for Spanish president

The Socialists will have the minister of public administrations Meritxell Batet as number one candidate in Barcelona, while Pedro Sánchez aims to remain head of the Spanish government.


Meanwhile, Spain's secretary of state for Digital Progress, Paco Polo, will follow Batet in the Barcelona constituency. Both are close allies of president Pedro Sánchez.

In the European election, Javi López hopes to be returned as MEP for the Catalan Socialists, as he did five years ago.

No names yet for People's Party or far-right Vox

While no candidates for the People's Party in Catalonia have yet been announced, what is certain is that Pablo Casado will be the leading candidate in the Madrid constituency and will run for president.

The far-right Vox party aims to get seats in the Spanish Congress for the first time with Santiago Abascal as top candidate in Madrid. The members of their tickets in the Catalan candidacies are not yet clear.