27-S elections look back: A year of pro-independence majority in the Parliament

September 27, 2016 07:20 PM | ACN / Sara Prim

This Thursday is the first anniversary of the Catalan Elections of the 27th of September 2015, which led to the first pro-independence majority in the Parliament. Cross-party list ‘Junts Pel Sí’, which gathered together representatives from civil society and politicians such as left wing ERC’s leader, Oriol Junqueras, former MEP Raül Romeva and former President Mas, amongst others, won the elections, obtaining 62 MPs in the 135-seat Catalan Chamber. However, they didn’t obtain an absolute majority and negotiated with radical left pro-independence CUP, who got 10 MPs, in order to have a majority in favour of independence in the Catalan Chamber. After Mas failed twice to be invested as President, since CUP repeatedly refused to support him, former Mayor of Girona and President of the Association of Municipalities for Independence (AMI), Carles Puigdemont, emerged as the candidate of consensus. Then, a term of office defined as ‘exceptional’ started, with the aim of launching a pro-independence roadmap and putting in place the basis for the future Catalan Republic.

Deadline for the vote abroad extended twice for 20-D Spanish Elections

December 16, 2015 12:04 PM | Sara Prim

Spaniards living abroad will have more time to vote in the 20-D Spanish Elections. Spain’s Electoral Roll Office has twice agreed to extend the deadline for the postal vote: first it was extended from the 12th of December to the 16th, and this Wednesday the Spanish bodyhas announced its extension to the 18th. The aim is to improve a system which was described as “an authentic odyssey” by the Catalan Minister for Public Administration Meritxell Borràs when more than 200,000 Catalans whom were registered to vote in the 27-S Catalan elections couldn’t ultimately do so. This decision to facilitate the vote for the 20-D Spanish Elections contrasts with the Spanish body’s failure to do so for those Catalans living abroad who repeatedly requested an extension of the deadline for voting in the 27-S Catalan elections. 

Catalan government denounces the obstacles to the vote abroad before Supreme Court

October 29, 2015 06:47 PM | ACN / Sara Prim

More than 7,000 catalans living abroad couldn’t exercise their democratic right to vote in the past 27-S elections. Catalan Minister for Public Administration, Mertixell Borràs accused Electoral Roll Office of “violating fundamental rights” by denying the government’s petition to extend the postal vote for those Catalans living abroad but contradictorily accepting to do so for soldiers and Catalans living in other parts of Spain.. “We warned that we won’t stand on the side lines and we haven’t” stated Borràs and announced that the Catalan Government presented an appeal to the Supreme Court to “assume responsabilities”. “It is clear that irregularities did happen in the months and weeks before the 27-S” and “someone must be held accountable, whether it is someone in the Postal Service, the Foreign Ministry, or the Electoral Roll office” she stated. “We have to make sure that this won’t happen again and that such an absurd situation won’t  go unpunished”. 

‘Junts Pel Sí’ and CUP hand over an agreed declaration on starting the independence process

October 27, 2015 02:43 PM | ACN / Sara Prim

Cross-party list ‘Junts Pel Sí’ and radical left CUP, the two main forces supporting Catalonia’s independence in the Parliament, handed over an agreed declaration which establishes “the start of the process to create the independent Catalan State in the form of a Republic”. The document states that “the process of democratic disconnection won’t be subject to Spanish institutions’ decisions, particularly those from the Spanish Constitutional Court, which is regarded as discredited and without competences”. In fact, the declaration urges the new government to “obey exclusively those mandates produced” by the Parliament. The document considers it appropriate to start within a maximum of 30 days the processing of the laws for the constituent process, social security and the creation of a Catalan public tax office. The proposal will have to be voted on in an extraordinary plenary session to be held before the new president is instated.

The new Catalan Parliament to be constituted on Monday 26th of October

October 21, 2015 06:02 PM | ACN / Sara Prim

The plenary session to constitute the new Catalan Parliament will be on the 26th of October next. Current Catalan President, Artur Mas, having used up the maximum legal term for doing so, signed this Wednesday the decree which establishes the constitution of the new chamber. However, there are still some pending issues regarding the composition of the new Catalan Parliament. The negotiations between cross-party list 'Junts Pel Sí' and radical left pro-independence CUP regarding who will be President have yet to be concluded and the future composition of the Parliament's Bureau isn't clear either, as anti-Catalan nationalism Ciutadans, alternative-left coalition 'Catalunya Sí que es Pot', Catalan Socialist Party PSC and Catalan People's Party PPC demand that 'Junts Pel Sí' not have an absolute majority in the Bureau. 

Roadmap after 27-S: What do pro-independence forces agree on?

October 9, 2015 03:31 PM | ACN / Sara Prim

Two weeks after the 27-S Catalan elections, the debate on who will be the next President is still bogged down. Pro-independence unitary list ‘Junts Pel Sí’ (‘Together For Yes’), which won the elections but didn’t get an absolute majority, confirmed that Artur Mas was their candidate to run for President. However, radical left CUP have repeatedly stated that they won’t instate Mas as President, as an independent Catalonia needs a leader “who can’t be identified with cuts, corruption and privatisations”. “Now we are extremely focused on the content, the what, when, and how” stated CUP’s leader Antonio Baños, in an interview with 'Catalunya Ràdio'. Simultaneously, in another radio interview, ‘Junts Pel Sí’ lead member Raül Romeva assured that he “agrees with almost everything” regarding CUP’s roadmap towards independence and insisted that choosing a candidate to be President “is now secondary”.

27-S elections

September 29, 2015 05:04 PM | ACN

Pro-independence parties have won an overall majority in the Catalan election. The main pro-independence coalition, ‘Junts pel Sí’ (‘Together for Yes’) obtained 39.6% of vote and won 62, while the far-left pro-independence CUP secured 10 members of parliament. Together, they have an overall majority of 72 MPs in the 135-seats Catalan Parliament. President Mas, who ran fourth on the list, highlighted the plebiscitary nature of the elections and demanded “respect” for “the victory of Catalonia, the victory of yes”. Turnout in the election has hit a record high, with 77.4%.

Financial Times advises to “give some ground and negotiate” with Catalonia

September 29, 2015 03:45 PM | ACN / Shobha Prabhu-Naik

Pro-independence parties have “achieved” their goal in “winning 72 of the 135” seats in the Catalan Parliament, stated an editorial in the Financial Times published this Tuesday. The British business daily insisted that once Spain has held national elections at the end of this year, a new government in Madrid needs to enter into talks with President Mas, to “find a third way between independence and the status quo”. However, the editorial is titled “Catalonia needs to step back from the brink”, since it puts forward the idea that Mas has “less legitimacy to implement his plan” considering that the percentage of voters who supported a clear ‘yes’ for independence was less than 50%.

Rajoy offers “dialogue” to Catalonia but always “within the law”

September 28, 2015 07:34 PM | ACN / Sara Prim

The Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy offered “dialogue and negotiation” to the new Catalan government that would form after the 27-S elections, but warned that this “loyalty” would be subject to legality and “always within the law”. He emphasised that if the Catalan authorities “are planning to break the law and make declarations that contradict the Spanish Constitution and the Catalan Statute of Autonomy” Spain will fulfil its duty and make sure that “the law is adhered to”. Meanwhile, former Spanish Prime Minister José María Aznar has blamed Rajoy for leading the PP into “the worst possible scenario”. In a communicate published through the FAES foundation, the PP’s think tank over which he presides, Aznar stated that the PP “can’t ignore” the “the fifth warning” that Catalans have sent to the party.

Pro-independence coalition ‘Junts pel Sí’: “Our candidate to run for President is Artur Mas”

September 28, 2015 03:45 PM | ACN / Sara Prim

The winning coalition in the 27-S elections, pro-independence unitary list ‘Junts Pel Sí’ insisted that their candidate to run for President of the Catalan Government is Artur Mas. Mas himself stated that what matters now “is the roadmap”and not who is the candidate for President. He addressed this warning to radical left pro-independence CUP, which would bring an absolute majority for pro-independence forces in the Parliament if they join ‘Junts Pel Sí’ but whom refuse to instate Artur Mas as Catalan President. “Now we have a shared responsibility” assured Mas and highlighted that “the priority” was to know if the 72 MPS who favour independence would be able to work together.

European Commission: The 27-S elections are “a domestic issue for Spain”

September 28, 2015 02:52 PM | ACN

“The EC does not comment on regional elections” stated EC spokesperson Margaritis Schinas. He added that the EC won’t express “a position” regarding the 27-S results in Catalonia, which it considers “a domestic issue for Spain”.The EC spokesperson confirmed that EC President Jean-Claude Juncker “was informed” of the election results but that he “didn’t have any immediate contact” to evaluate them with the Spanish nor the Catalan governments. “I have nothing else to say” stated Schinas, who denied any consideration of whether the EU should promote dialogue between Madrid and Barcelona. However, the President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, Anne Brasseur, stated at a press conference that “the vote of the people of Catalonia must be respected” and added that “there must be dialogue from both sides”.


Spanish Government: “Artur Mas’ secessionist strategy has failed”

September 28, 2015 12:39 AM | ACN / Sara Prim

Catalans “have shown that they are a plural society” in the face of “uniformity”, declared sources from the Spanish Government to CNA. Despite the ‘Junts Pel Sí’ victory in the 27-S elections, Mariano Rajoy’s team considers Artur Mas to have “failed” as he “didn’t achieve in votes nor in seats Catalan society’s support” for his “defiance”. The Conservative People’s Party (PP) didn’t comment on the record participation, which is the highest in the history of the Autonomous Elections.