democràcia i llibertat

Former Catalan Minister Francesc Homs investigated for organising the 9-N symbolic consultation

May 19, 2016 06:38 PM | ACN

Former Catalan Minister for the Presidency, Frances Homs, is being investigated by Spain’s Supreme Court for helping to organise the 9-N symbolic vote on independence in 2014. Homs, who is currently the leader of Catalan coalition ‘Democràcia i Llibertat’ in the Spanish Parliament, is accused of disobedience, perversion of justice and misappropriation of public funds, the same charges for which former Catalan President Artur Mas, former Vice-President Joana Ortega and former Catalan Minister of Education Irene Rigau were also summonsed last October. Homs lamented the “low democratic quality” of the Spanish State and assured that he will testify before the court “carrying the pro-independence flag”. 

Mas willing to lead a joint candidature for the Spanish elections “if necessary”

April 29, 2016 02:41 PM | ACN

The creation of a joint pro-independence candidature in Catalonia to run for the upcoming Spanish elections on the 26th of June would show that “sovereignism has won in the world’s eyes”. This is what former Catalan President, Artur Mas, stated in an interview with 8TV. He also admitted to being “willing” to do “whatever it takes” including leading this potential list, as “an act of service”. However, the Catalan pro-independence parties in the Spanish Parliament have different opinions regarding the possibility of running together on the 26-J. While former CDC ‘Democràcia i Llibertat’ consider the joint candidature as “the best formula”, left wing pro-independence ERC have insisted that “ideological diversity gets better results”.

Spanish King to consult the parties again amid investiture deadlock

April 12, 2016 02:29 PM | ACN

The time for the main Spanish parties to continue negotiating and agree to form new government appears to be coming to an end. To explore if any of the candidates is likely to obtain the necessary support to be invested as new Spanish President, Philip VI announced a new round of meetings to take place on the 25th and 26th of April. If the formations fail to reach an agreement and the investiture deadlock continues, the Royal Household will “procced to the dissolution of both chambers”, the Spanish Parliament and the Senate, “and call for new elections within the terms established by the Spanish Constitution”. Conservative People’s Party (PP) leader, Mariano Rajoy, has been acting as Spanish President since the 20th of December 2015, as elections showed a fragmented scenario, where none of the parties obtained an absolute majority nor achieved any agreement to form government.

Francesc Homs voluntarily declares before the court in relation to 9-N symbolic vote on independence

March 7, 2016 02:44 PM | ACN

The former Catalan Minister for the Presidency and Catalan coalition ‘Democràcia i Llibertat’s current leader in the Spanish Parliament, Francesc Homs, has voluntarily testified to Catalonia’s Supreme Court (TSJC) regarding the celebration of the 9-N symbolic vote on independence in 2014. Homs, who was President Mas’ right hand man at the time the vote took place, assured that the TSJC has “political” intentions regarding this case and that it is at the Spanish government’s service. Last October, the TSJC also summonsed former Catalan President, Artur Mas, former Vice-President Joana Ortega and Catalan Minister of Education Irene Rigau for having authorised and co-organised the non-binding and symbolic vote.

Pedro Sánchez rejected again by the Spanish Parliament

March 4, 2016 09:36 PM | ACN

Spanish Socialist leader Pedro Sánchez was rejected again this Friday by the Spanish Parliament. The Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE)’s candidate to form a new government in Spain got only 131 votes in favour, from the 350-seat Spanish Parliament. As opposed to in the first round of the investiture debate, the MP from the Canarian Coalition (CC) voted in favour of Sánchez rather than abstaining. The other parties in the Spanish Parliament, the current governing party, the conservative People’s Party (PP), alternative left Podemos and Catalan pro-independence parties ERC and ‘Democràcia i Llibertat’ voted against his investiture, totalling 219 votes. Now it will be time for Spain’s King, Philip VII, to decide the further steps to be taken. 

Spanish Parliament says ‘no’ to Pedro Sánchez’s investiture

March 2, 2016 07:27 PM | ACN / Sara Prim

Spanish Socialist leader Pedro Sánchez has failed in his effort to be invested in the first round of the Spanish Investiture debate. He only obtained the support 130 MPs in the 350-seats Spanish Parliament. The 90 MPs from Sánchez’s own party, Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE) and the 40 from Unionist Ciutadans voted in favour, the MP from Canary Coalition (CC) abstained from voting and all the other parties, including the current governing party, conservative People’s Party, alternative left Podemos and Catalan pro-independence parties ERC and ‘Democràcia i Llibertat’ voted against his investiture. The next round in voting will take place on Friday. During the investiture debate, Sánchez invited PP and Podemos to join his alliance with Ciutadans and assured that he will “never” accept a referendum in Catalonia as it would be “the worst way” to break Spain apart. For his part, Catalan President Carles Puigdemont stated that Sánchez’s failure confirms that there is no alternatSive for Catalonia other than to push for independence.

Spain’s king requests Socialist leader Pedro Sánchez to form government

February 3, 2016 10:44 AM | ACN

This Wednesday, Spain’s king Philip VI requested Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE) leader Pedro Sánchez to start the negotiations with the other groups in the Spanish Parliament so that the first investiture debate can take place. Sánchez assured that he is “aware of the difficulties” but expressed his will to “unblock the current situation” in Spain. PSOE obtained 90 seats from the 350 in the Spanish Parliament and would therefore need the support of both alternative left ‘Podemos’ (68 seats) and anti-Catalan nationalism Ciutadans (40 seats) to reach the absolute majority. However, Podemos has openly expressed its support for holding a referendum in Spain, while both PSOE and Ciutadans have repeatedly rejected the possibility of holding such a poll. The Conservative People’s Party (PP), the party currently governing Spain, obtained 123 MPs in the 20th of December Spanish elections. 

20-D Spanish Elections: Catalan parties react

December 21, 2015 01:11 AM | ACN / Sara Prim

Current Catalan President Artur Mas congratulated the winning list in Catalonia running for the Spanish Elections, alternative left coalition En Comú Podem and emphasised the coalition’s commitment to Catalonia’s right to decide. “We take Podemos at their word and ask them not to take a single step backwards” he stated. Mas admitted that Democràcia i Llibertat, the coalition which includes his party, liberal CDC, didn’t obtain the expected results, “we have been mercilessly attacked by the Spanish State’s powers” he said. Left wing pro-independence ERC’s candidate for Barcelona, Gabriel Rufián, noted that his party “obtained its best result ever” in the Spanish Elections “we have tripled the result of 2011” he emphasised. “Those who have been repeatedly ignored and who don’t have the support of any factional power have won the elections in Catalonia” stated Barcelona’s mayor Ada Colau, referring to the En Comú candidates, which were part of the En Comú Podem coalition. 

The PP wins the Spanish Elections but loses its absolute majority

December 21, 2015 12:32 AM | ACN / Sara Prim

The party led by Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has obtained 123 MPs from the 350 in the Spanish Parliament, which represents a decline of 63 seats in comparison to the last Spanish Elections. The Spanish Socialist Party, PSOE, has obtained 90 seats, 20 less than in 2011 and the two new parties running for the Spanish Elections for the first time, alternative left Podemos and anti-Catalan nationalism Ciutadans, got 68 and 40 seats respectively. In Catalonia, alternative left coalition En Comú Podem has won the elections, obtaining 12 MPs. Pro-independence left wing ERC has obtained 9 MPs, three times more than in the 2011 elections. Democràcia i Llibertat got 8 MPs and Catalan Socialist Party 7 MPs, half of what they obtained in 2011. Ciutadans have secured 5 representatives in their first time running for the Spanish Elections, the same number of seats as the Catalan People’s Party (PPC). The overall turnout in the whole of Spain was 73.22%.

20-D Spanish Elections: Catalonia and the end of the two-party system on the spotlight

December 19, 2015 04:09 PM | Sara Prim

This Sunday, more than 35 million Spanish citizens are entitled to elect the 350 MPs in the Spanish Parliament and the 208 members of the Senate. Election Day will take place less than three months after the 27-S Catalan elections, which saw the victory of pro-independence forces – a fact that has definitely focused the electoral campaign and the main parties’ programmes. The 20-D Spanish Elections are also set to be crucial as they may mark the end of the two-party system in Spain comprised of the Conservative People’s Party, PP, and the Spanish Socialist Party, PSOE, which have alternated in the Spanish government since 1982. Two new parties are set to burst into the Spanish Parliament and may have a key role in the post-electoral agreements: anti-Catalan nationalism ‘Ciutadans’ and alternative left ‘Podemos’. They have both shown their force and popular support in the past European, regional and local elections.

Party Review – Democràcia i Llibertat: “Voting is the only way we can defend our cause”

December 18, 2015 06:49 PM | Sara Prim

'Democràcia i Llibertat' (Democracy and Freedom) gathers together members from Liberal CDC, the party currently leading the Catalan Government, ‘Demòcrates de Catalunya’, the party which split from former CDC partner Christian-Democrat Unió, and ‘Reagrupament’, constituted by former members of left wing ERC. “The name symbolises what we are committed to doing: attaining Catalonia’s freedom through democracy” stated Democràcia i Llibertat’s candidate for Barcelona, Francesc Homs. “Our only instrument to defend our cause is voting” he stated “therefore, every time the ballot boxes are put out we will vote”. The former Catalan Minister for the Presidency assured that the international community will be following the Spanish Elections, but they will pay special attention to “what Catalonia will vote” and see if this vote “has a connection” with the political process that Catalonia is going through.

Spain's electoral campaign starts with Catalonia's independence in the spotlight

December 4, 2015 12:28 PM | Sara Prim

The campaign for the upcoming Spanish elections has begun. On the 20th of December Spaniards will elect 558 of the 616 seats in Spanish bicameral Parliament: 350 for the Spanish Parliament and 208 for the Senate. The strategy regarding Catalonia and its push for independence is set to be a crucial battlefield - many parties have expressed their support or open opposition to Catalonia's aspirations and the reform of the Spanish Constitution to improve Spain's current territorial organisation has also been the focus of the main parties' programmes. Besides this debate, the upcoming elections are set to mark the end of the two-party system, represented by People's Party (PP) and Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE), which have alternated in the Spanish government since 1982. Anti-Catalan nationalism ‘Ciutadans’ and alternative left ‘Podemos’ have already shown their force and popular support in the past European, Regional and Local elections and are likely to burst into the Spanish Parliament, forcing the main parties to reach agreements.