MPs reject Mas' candidacy again

November 12, 2015 03:53 PM | ACN / Sara Prim

For the first time in the Parliament's history, a candidate for President hasn't obtained a majority in the second round. This Thursday, 73 MPs from the 135 in the Catalan chamber refused to re-elect current President Artur Mas, which is exactly the same result that the candidate got in the first round of the investiture debate. The only MPs who supported Mas' candidacy were the 62 of the pro-independence cross-party list, 'Junts Pel Sí'. Their partner in the roadmap towards independence, radical left CUP, repeated their 'no' to Mas, as they repeatedly announced they would. In the following weeks, the parliamentary groups will hold meetings to choose an alternative candidate, but if one is not chosen before the 10th of January, the Parliament will have to call elections again.

Artur Mas: “Freedom is beyond ideologies and parties”

November 9, 2015 07:53 PM | ACN / Sara Prim

A month and a half after the 27-S elections, and using up all the deadlines, the Parliament held this Monday the first session of the instatement debate. So far, the only candidate to lead the new government is Artur Mas, the current President and number four in winning cross-party list ‘Junts Pel Sí’. However, the other pro-independence force in the Parliament, radical left CUP, has repeatedly insisted that they won’t instate Mas as President. Without the support of CUP’s 10 MPs, Mas won’t be re-elected, at least not in the first round. “Freedom is beyond ideologies and parties” he stated during his speech before Parliament. “We must orientate the sails in the correct direction in order to use the wind that we received from the 27-S elections”stated Mas, clearly referring to CUP’s position. “We can’t be stuck in the harbour, not after receiving the support to start the journey”. 

The Parliament declares the start of the independence process

November 9, 2015 02:37 PM | ACN / Sara Prim

The Parliament approved this Monday the agreed declaration to start building “an independent Catalan State in the form of a republic”. The proposal, presented by the main pro-independence forces in the Parliament, cross-party list ‘Junts Pel Sí’ and radical left CUP, obtained the support of 72 MPs from the 135 composing the Parliament (the 62 ‘Junts Pel Sí’ MPs and CUP’s 10 MPs). All the other groups, anti-Catalan nationalism Ciutadans, Catalan Socialist Party PSC, Catalan People’s Party PPC and alternative left coalition ‘Catalunya Sí que es Pot’ voted against the declaration. “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” states the declaration’s text, which also urges the new government to “obey exclusively those mandates produced” by the Parliament. 

Spanish Constitutional Court gives the green light to vote on pro-independence proposal

November 5, 2015 07:29 PM | ACN / Sara Prim

The Spanish Constitutional Court (TC) will in the end allow the plenary session to put the pro-independence declaration to vote. The TC hasn’t adopted the precautionary measures that the PPC and Ciutadans asked for in order to stop the debate on the ‘Junts Pel Sí’ and CUP agreed proposal and will allow the plenary session to vote on the roadmap towards independence proposed by ‘Junts Pel Sí’ and CUP. They pointed out that precautionary measures are only adopted in “cases of extreme urgency” and that they understand that this is not the case. However, the TC accepted the three writs of protection presented by the Catalan People’s Party, PPC, the Catalan Socialist Party, PSC, and anti-Catalan nationalism Ciutadans. The magistrates expressed this Thursday in a joint letter that the appeals have been accepted because they “transcend the concrete case” and “raise judicial matters of a relevant social repercussion, with political consequences”. Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy assured that if the pro-independence proposal is ultimately approved, the executive itself will appeal. 

Parliament to vote on agreed pro-independence roadmap next week

November 3, 2015 08:17 PM | ACN / Sara Prim

The Parliament's Bureau rejected on Tuesday the appeals made by Catalan Socialist Party PSC and Anti-Catalan nationalism Ciutadans, which urged reconsideration of the approval of the agreed pro-independence proposal. The Parliament's President, Carme Forcadell, announced that the agreed declaration on starting the independence process will be voted on next week. Forcadell also responded to those who criticised her decision to convene the Spokesperson Bureau before the Catalonia People's Party (PPC) had constituted themselves as a parliamentary group. She emphasised that Parliament hasn't done anything illegal and convened the Spokesperson Bureau for next Friday. The aim is to putt to vote the proposal presented by pro-independence forces 'Junts Pel Sí' and CUP and approve it before the new Catalan President is instated. 

Spokesperson Bureau convened for this Tuesday to reactivate the pro-independence proposal

November 2, 2015 02:25 PM | ACN / Sara Prim

The Parliament’s President, Carme Forcadell, has convened the Spokesperson Bureau for this Tuesday, even though Catalonia’s People’s Party (PPC) haven’t yet constituted themselves as a parliamentary group. The aim is to respond to the appeals made by Catalan Socialist Party PSC and Anti-Catalan nationalism Ciutadans, which have urged reconsideration of the approval of the pro-independence forces agreed declaration on starting the independence process. The decision to convene the Spokesperson Bureau, and reactivate the debate on the proposal, arrived after PPC’s handed over of a writ of protection before the Spanish Constitutional Court. According to PPC’s leader, Xavier García Albiol, they took such an action to “avoid the celebration of the plenary session”to debate the pro-independence proposal as “it is absolutely outside of the basic rules of democracy”.

Pro-independence CDC and ERC to run separately in Spanish Elections

October 30, 2015 05:31 PM | ACN

The winning pro-independence cross-party list 'Junts Pel Sí''s formula won't be repeated in the 20th of December Spanish elections. Liberal CDC and left-wing ERC, the two main political forces responsible for 'Junts Pel Sí', consider the referendum already celebrated in the 27-S elections and bid to enhance the pro-independence base by running in the Spanish elections separately. ERC's general secretary, Marta Rovira, and CDC general coordinator, Josep Rull, aim to fill the space left by radical left CUP, their main partner in the Catalan government, who won't run in the Spanish elections. Rovira and Rull promised to work together in order to make the 27-S democratic mandate effective. To prove this, they announced the writing of a common manifesto which will support the Catalan government's roadmap towards independence. 

Proposal to start building a new Catalan State on standby

October 28, 2015 05:56 PM | Sara Prim

The Parliament Bureau has temporarily suspended the declaration that pro-independence forces ‘Junts Pel Sí’and CUP handed over on Tuesday to start the “disconnection process”from Spain. The decision comes in response to the request of two other groups represented in the Catalan Parliament, the second most voted list in the 27-S elections, anti-Catalan nationalism Ciutadans and the Catalan Socialist Party (PSC). The Catalan People’s Party (PPC) also supported the petition but didn’t present any formal request to stop the pro-independence forces’declaration, as they haven’t constituted themselves as a parliamentary group yet. In fact, it is necessary that all the forces in the Chamber are constituted as parliamentary groups, otherwise the Parliament’s Bureau won’t be able to listen to all the spokespersons and make a definitive decision on how to proceed with the declaration.

Mas: "The public tender system of the Catalan Government is flawless"

October 23, 2015 01:56 PM | ACN / Sara Prim

Current Catalan President, Artur Mas stated this Friday that "the public tender system of the Catalan Government is flawless. There are no mistakes nor possibilities to influence it in a partisan or personal way", regarding the accusations of bad practice in relation to assessing public contracts. Mas appeared before the Parliament to comment on the recent phase of the 'Petrum' anti-corruption operation, which investigates whether companies paid a 3% commission to the party foundation 'CatDem' in exchange for public contracts. "The CatDem did receive contributions from companies, it is legal, public and specified in many documents" stated President Mas "if we don't like the legal system, we must change it rather than criminalise it" and added that "other parties' foundations have also received commissions from these companies". Mas also slammed the Spanish Guardia Civil searches as "a show" that pursues "hurting rather than investigating".

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. 

27-S elections: Everything ready for a historic day

September 25, 2015 07:57 PM | ACN / Sara Prim

The number of lists running for the 27-S Catalan elections is lower than the last time around in 2012; dropping from 79 candidacies to the 40 lists running this year. Moreover, there are many new candidacies that have been designed for the occasion according to the historic nature of the elections that will function as a ‘de facto’ plebiscite on independence. For the first time ever, new coalitions have been made and civil society organisations have entered the fray.

Party Review – PPC, the Catalan branch of the Conservative People’s Party

September 16, 2015 05:15 PM | ACN / Sara Prim

In the last Catalan elections, in 2012, the PPC got their best results ever, increasing from 18 to 19 seats in the 135-seat Catalan Parliament. The PP was already ruling the Spanish government by that time and its politics regarding Catalonia’s sovereignty were harsh and recentralising. For the upcoming 27-S elections the PPC has changed its candidate: Xavier García Albiol, former mayor of Badalona, the third city in Catalonia, substitutes Alicia Sánchez Camacho. Albiol represents the more extreme faction of the PPC and he has been accused of being xenophobic by his political opponents. He is openly against the independence of Catalonia: he thinks the process is “a romantic adventure led by Artur Mas” and he aims to stand up for those “millions of Catalans who don’t want to stop being Spanish”.


Electoral campaign for the 27-S kicks off on Catalonia’s National Day

September 11, 2015 12:10 PM | ACN / Sara Prim

This year the electoral campaign for the upcoming 27th of September elections starts on the 11th of September, Catalonia’s National Day. In total 40 lists of candidates are running for the Catalan elections, 39 less than in the last elections in 2012, with many of the candidates being newcomers. This reduction in the number of candidacies is due to the creation of unitary lists made up by coalitions between different parties and even civil society organisations in order to have a wider representation in an election that is set to be a ‘de facto’ plebiscite on independence. 

PP’s reform of the Constitutional Court is a threat “to the rule of law”, warns Mas

September 2, 2015 01:33 PM | ACN

The Catalan President, Artur Mas, recognised that he is the target of the law reform that the conservative People’s Party (PP) announced on Tuesday, which he described as a threat to the rule of law. The project aims at the Court being able to suspend or fine politicians who disobey Constitutional Court rulings. According to the PP, it is unconstitutional to ask Catalans if they want to separate from Spain, let alone to declare independence. Mas stated that the PP “wants to destroy the rule of law” with this decision that he regarded as an old-fashioned way of doing politics more proper of “the Inquisition” than of a democratic country. President Mas will appear before the Parliament this afternoon to defend his decision to call elections on the 27th of September. The Catalan President will answer questions from members of parliament about the poll, which pro-independence groups consider as a ‘de facto’ referendum on independence. The PP has also warned that it will ask Mas about the Spanish Guardia Civil search that took place last week in the headquarters of his party CDC and the President’s party Foundation CatDem.

The PP to urgently reform the law to be able to suspend Mas from office

September 1, 2015 07:00 PM | ACN

The candidate for the conservative People's Party (PP) in the upcoming Catalan elections, Xavier García Albiol, presented on Tuesday a proposal to reform the Spanish Constitutional Court (TC) Law and make sure that its rulings are adhered to by civil servants and politicians. García Albiol admitted that the plan is especially designed to stop Catalan President Artur Mas’ push for independence, which unionists say is unconstitutional. “It’s a clear message to those who want to break Catalonia away from the rest of Spain: the joke is over”, he warned. The reform will be passed urgently by the Spanish Parliament this month, and will set in place the mechanisms and resources needed to take action against those who don’t obey the Constitutional Court’s decisions. Civil servants or politicians that ignore rulings may face fines or even suspension from office. The Catalan Government spokeswoman described the TC’s reform plan as a decision taken because of the election on the 27th of September, and regretted that it only adds more “repression, threats and fear” to the political debate.