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Rajoy does not rule out holding Spanish elections on same day as Catalan vote

The Spanish Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy, has not ruled out the possibility of holding the Spanish General Elections – which should normally be held in late November or early December – at the same time as the Catalan Elections, which are to take place on 27 September. The Catalan Elections are to be transformed into a 'de facto' plebiscite on independence and have been called a year early, as the only option left in order to hold a self-determination vote, after Rajoy's total opposition to any such vote and his failing to even talk about it. During the last few weeks, the possibility of Rajoy calling the Spanish Elections early in order to ensure that they coincide with the Catalan vote (with the aim of partially neutralising the plebiscite effect) has been widely discussed. However, Rajoy also said that he would like to hold them "at the end of the year".

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27 April 2015 09:47 PM

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ACN

Barcelona (ACN).- The Spanish Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy, has not ruled out the possibility of holding the Spanish General Elections – which should normally be held in late November or early December – at the same time as the Catalan Elections, which are to take place on 27 September. The Catalan Elections are to be transformed into a 'de facto' plebiscite on independence and have been called a year early, following political agreements between the main parties supporting the Catalan Government and as the only option left to hold a self-determination vote, after Rajoy's total opposition to any such vote and his failing to even talk about it. During the last few weeks, the possibility of Rajoy calling the Spanish Elections early in order to ensure that they coincide with the Catalan vote (with the aim of partially neutralising the plebiscite effect) has been widely discussed. However, Rajoy also said that he would like to hold the Spanish Elections "at the end of the year".


On Monday morning, in an event held in Madrid, the Spanish PM was asked about the possibility of holding elections on the 27th of September, which is the same day the President of the Catalan Government, Artur Mas, has announced for the Catalan Elections. Mariano Rajoy "did not close any door". However, he said that "doing things in the short-term is not included" among his "defects". In this vein, he added that "the idea is to hold them at the end of the year", when Rajoy will finish his 4-year constitutional term as Prime Minister.

He also contemplated the question "What are the plebiscitary elections?", immediately answering himself: they are "the elections that will not be held in Catalonia", because "everybody knows" that these elections are "autonomic", to elect the Parliament of an Autonomous Community, "as the Constitution states", he emphasised. Rajoy also asked the Catalan President "to tell the truth" to the citizens and say that "plebiscitary elections do not exist".

In fact, Rajoy added once again that he is willing to talk about everything with the Catalan Government, except discussing Spain's "national unity, its sovereignty, the equality among Spaniards, and their freedom and fundamental rights". The current Government of Spain will not talk about such issues and, according to Rajoy, no other cabinet will, because they are not allowed to do so, nor do they want to do so. Therefore, according to the Spanish PM, Catalans can never hold a self-determination vote; they cannot even ask for it and cannot even talk about how to make it possible.

Rajoy is once again imposing a restrictive interpretation of the Spanish Constitution, which does not ban talking about any central issue, as it is the only possible way to debate about how it should be modified. On the contrary, the Constitution foresees its own modification. Indeed, several constitutional experts have been arguing over the past few years that not only taking about self-determination is possible, but also that a self-determination vote in Catalonia would be possible with the current Constitution or by making very small changes to the current legal framework.

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  • The Spanish PM, Mariano Rajoy, on Monday morning in Madrid (by R. Pi de Cabanyes)

  • The Spanish PM, Mariano Rajoy, on Monday morning in Madrid (by R. Pi de Cabanyes)