Puigdemont’s party decides to leave the Catalan independence government – World Today

Catalonia found itself, on Friday, plunged into uncertainty after the decision of the party of Carles Puigdemont to leave the independence coalition at the head of this region which tried to secede from Spain in 2017.

After two days of voting, the activists of Together for Catalonia (Junts) voted 55.73% for the exit of their formation from the regional executive chaired by the other major separatist formation, ERC ( Republican Left of Catalonia).

According to the provisional results of this consultation published on Friday, 42.39% voted on the contrary to remain in this government.

ERC and Junts more divided than ever

Traveling to Prague for the summit of leaders of the EU and other countries of the continent, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez appealed for “stability” in this “complex period” for Catalonia.

With Carles Puigdemont then at its head, the independence coalition made up of Junts and ERC tried, in 2017, to secede from Spain by organizing a self-determination referendum, despite its ban by the courts, before unilaterally declaring independence of the region. Madrid then revoked the regional government and suspended the region’s autonomy.

This attempt to secede from the rich region of northeastern Spain remains the most serious political crisis experienced by the country since the end of the Franco dictatorship.

Five years later, ERC and Junts, who have governed Catalonia together for six years, are more divided than ever on the strategy to follow. Support from the central government of Pedro Sanchez, ERC advocates dialogue with Madrid, while Junts defends a more radical line.

The vote of Junts activists in favor of leaving the Catalan government appears to be a victory for Carles Puigdemont, who still retains great influence in the formation from Belgium where he fled in 2017 to escape prosecution from Spanish justice. Junts’ decision to leave the Catalan government will not, however, lead to his downfall, at least in the short term.

ERC “will absolutely need to seal an agreement with the socialists”

Regional President Pere Aragonès (ERC), who has assured that he does not intend to call an early election, intends to govern the region in a minority. The main hypothesis could be support from the Socialists of Pedro Sanchez in the Catalan Parliament, so that the regional executive can have its key texts adopted, such as the budget. “With the number of deputies” that ERC has in the Catalan parliament, “it will absolutely need to seal an agreement with the Socialists”, judges Gabriel Colomé, professor of political science at the Autonomous University of Barcelona.

Pedro Sanchez, for his part, assured on Friday that his party “will always stretch out its hand in favor of dialogue” and “in the general interest of Catalonia”.

Tensions between ERC and Junts had reached a point of no return last week. The formation of Carles Puigdemont had threatened to demand that the local parliament vote for a motion of no confidence against Pere Aragonès, accused of not showing a clear commitment in favor of independence.

Furious at this lack of loyalty, the latter had dismissed his vice-president Jordi Puigneró, the highest representative of Junts in his executive. The chronic tensions between these two parties had already led to the end of the previous regional government, led by Junts, and the calling of early elections which were held in February 2021 and after which they formed a new coalition.

letelegramme Fr Trans

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