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The Committee to study the constitutive process of a potential Catalan Republic set to work

The committee designed to study the constitutive process which has to put in place the basis of a future Catalan Republic has set to work. This Monday, pro-independence cross party ‘Junts Pel Sí’ MP Lluís Llach took responsibility at the head of the committee, after his predecessor, Muriel Casals, died from a head injury after suffering an accident in the beginning of February. The pro-independence parties in the Parliament considered it “indispensable” to set up a debate on the future Catalan constitution. “It will never be prohibited”, stated alternative left coalition ‘Catalunya Sí que es Pot’ MP Joan Coscubiela. The committee starts its work amid warnings from the Spanish executive, which ultimately took this committee before the Spanish Constitutional Court (TC) to evaluate its legality and potential future suspension.

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08 March 2016 07:57 PM

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ACN

Barcelona (CNA).- The committee to study the constitutive process which has to put in place the basis of a future Catalan Republic starts its work amid warnings from the Spanish executive, which ultimately took this committee before the Spanish Constitutional Court (TC) to evaluate its legality and potential future suspension. Pro-independence cross party ‘Junts Pel Sí’ MP Lluís Llach took responsibility at the head of the committee, after his predecessor, Muriel Casals, died from a head injury after suffering an accident in the beginning of February. The pro-independence parties in the Parliament considered it “indispensable” to set up a debate on the future Catalan constitution. “It will never be prohibited”, stated alternative left coalition ‘Catalunya Sí que es Pot’ MP, Joan Coscubiela. 


The new President of the committee, Lluís Llach, who was also a popular singer, songwriter and anti-Franco activist, wanted to honour the figure of Casals, who was initially designated to preside over the committee. Llach also set the objectives of the committee, which will be focused on the different types of modern constitutions and the recent constitutive processes all over the world, analysis of the participative process and the kind of referendum to be held.

‘Junts Pel Sí’s spokeswoman in the Parliament, Marta Rovira, highlighted the legitimacy of having a debate over the independence issue, as it is part of the “democratic mandate” that pro-independence parties have after the 27-S Catalan elections. Rovira also emphasised the need to open the committee to the citizens, so that they could have “the last word” on what has to be “the future constitution”. A constitution which doesn’t have to be “like that of ’78”, which is the year of the current Spanish constitution. Rather than making it “in the offices” it has to be done “on the streets”, she assured.

As they had already announced, Catalan Socialist Party (PSC) and Spanish unionist ‘Ciutadans’, didn’t attend the committee. PPC did attend but announced that they won’t take part in the committee tasks. “I can tell you now that we won’t take part in the working plan of a committee which we believe shouldn’t take place in a democratic parliament”, stated PPC MP Santi Rodríguez. According to him, the PPC’s role in the committee will be representing those citizens “which don’t share” what the committee “aims to do”.

A committee surrounded by controversy

The committee to study the constitutive process and start building a Catalan Republic is the result of a parliamentary agreement between ‘Junts Pel Sí’, CUP and ‘Catalunya Sí que es Pot’. Its creation and first steps have been surrounded by controversy, as the Spanish Constitutional Court (TC) accepted the appeal presented by the Spanish executive and will, therefore, evaluate the suspension of the committee. According to current Spanish vice president, Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría, the Catalan Government’s first aim was to make it “a legislative” committee but they decided to turn it into a “study committee” in view of its possible unconstitutionality. Furthermore, Spain’s state attorney believes that the committee comes from the pro-independence proposal approved by the Catalan Chamber on the 9th of November and later suspended by the TC. Thus, by launching this committee the Parliament would not be fulfilling the TC sentence which suspended the pro-independence proposal.

It is “legal” to process the three disconnection laws as joint presentations

Both ‘Junts Pel Sí’ and CUP defended that the procedure suggested for processing the three disconnection laws, joint presentation, is “legal, legitimate and regulation”. According to the two main pro-independence parties, this method would allow all the groups in the parliament to take part in the writing of these three laws, one on social measures, a second on the Catalan tax office and a third on the legal transition. However, ‘Ciutadans’, PSC and PPC have expressed their opposition to the Parliament’s Bureau decision, as they consider such a procedure to be reserved for those projects which generate consensus amongst all the parliamentary groups and that this is not the case of the laws for starting the disconnection process.

‘Junts Pel Sí’ deputy spokesman Roger Torrent assured that this formula is the one which admits the greatest possibility of debate, so that the discussions can be started “from zero, as a blank page”. In the same vein, CUP MP Albert Botrán urged “to start working” and “leave the regulation debate behind”. “It is the most coherent, the [method] which broadens the debate and which would allow all the parties to join”. Thus, he described it as “correct” that the Parliament’s Bureau accepted the application presented by ‘Junts Pel Sí’ and CUP to start processing the laws through this form of procedure. 

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  • The President of the Committee to study the constitutive process, 'Junts Pel Sï' MP Lluís Llach, joined by CUP's MP Gabriela Serra and the Parliament's attorney, Antoni Bayona (by ACN)

  • The President of the Committee to study the constitutive process, 'Junts Pel Sï' MP Lluís Llach, joined by CUP's MP Gabriela Serra and the Parliament's attorney, Antoni Bayona (by ACN)