Socialists close to striking deal with Catalan pro-independence parties on Sánchez PM bid

Amnesty law and Pedro Sánchez prime ministerial vote expected for next week

Former Catalan government president Carles Puigdemont with Socialist organizational secretary Santos Cerdán on October 31
Former Catalan government president Carles Puigdemont with Socialist organizational secretary Santos Cerdán on October 31 / Junts
Catalan News

Catalan News | @catalannews | Madrid

October 31, 2023 06:45 PM

October 31, 2023 06:57 PM

The Socialists expect to reach an agreement with Catalan pro-independence parties soon, in order to call for a vote on Spain’s acting Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez's ministral bid. 

Sources close to the Socialist Party told to the Catalan News Agency (ACN), that there are only a few "details" to be worked out, with  Junts, Esquerra Republicana and Basque regionalist party PNB, all of whom have not yet given their definitive 'yes' to back Sánchez as prime minister. 

One of the requirements for ERC and Junts to support Sánchez is an amnesty bill for pro-independence leaders involved in the organization of the 2017 referendum on self-determination. 

The Socialists have agreed to an amnesty and consider it "logical" to register the law in Congress in the next few days. According to sources, the bill could be registered before the prime ministerial vote.  

Congress spokesperson Francina Armengol expects to announce the date of the session by Friday to coincide with the Congress bureau meeting, with the possibility of convening the chamber on November 7 and 8. 

Crucial meeting in Belgium 

The possible breakthrough in the agreement comes after former Catalan president Carles Puigdemont met with Socialist organizational secretary Santos Cerdán on Monday at the European Parliament in Brussels, as Puigdemont left Spain after the 2017 referendum and has not returned since, serving as an MEP for Junts.  

Sources say the meeting went well and they discussed not only backing Pedro Sánchez, but also a possible agreement for the 4-year legislature. 

The Socialists did not clarify how it would go about making such an agreement official, nor if it would havea joint agreement or a separate one for each party.  However, a phone call or a joint photo with Sánchez and Puigdemont that certifies the deal is not likely.  

Post-election negotiations  

An amnesty is one of the demands of Catalan pro-independence parties Esquerra Republicana and Junts as they negotiate with the Spanish Socialists over the possible reelection of Pedro Sánchez as prime minister.  

The conservative People’s Party, who won the most votes in July's inconclusive general election but fell short of a majority in Congress, are against an amnesty.  

The proposed amnesty would allow pro-independence leaders such as Carles Puigdemont to return. The former Catalan president who oversaw the 2017 independence referendum is currently living in exile in Belgium.