Pro-independence parties hesitant whether to take part in December 21 election
The Spanish president called Catalans to polling stations after seizing control of the country
How will pro-independence parties react to Mariano Rajoy’s convening of snap elections on December 21? This was one of the most heard questions by commentators in the Catalan media on Monday morning. While it is also uncertain how officials will face the measures against Catalan self-rule, the snap regional elections imposed by Madrid after seizing control of the country clash with last Friday's Declaration of Independence.
“They are elections called by Rajoy, who for us has no legitimacy to call elections,” ruling pro-independence coalition Junts pel Sí MP Roger Torrent said. “The person who has the authority to call elections is the Catalan president, and if this scenario takes place, the parties will have to discuss the best way to react,” he added. Like the Catalan vice president, Oriol Junqueras, urged on Sunday in an article, Torrent asked the parties “in favor of the Republic” to coordinate and seek a common strategy.
"We will find the way to be there. Ballot boxes do not frighten us"
Sergi Sabrià · ERC spokesman
Pro-independence parties taking sides on December 21
The main parties in favor of independence, center-right PDeCAT (Catalan European Democratic Party) and left-wing ERC (Republican Left of Catalonia) already took part in the 2015 Catalan election in the same coalition, Junts pel Sí, along with some well-known non-aligned candidates. The far-left CUP (Popular Unity Candidacy) did not join the coalition, but it has not ruled out doing so. “We don’t want to be closed-minded or irresponsible and we will put all the scenarios on the table,” said Núria Gibert, a CUP spokeswoman. “It will be our members who end up deciding which the best option is,” she added.
ERC spokesman, Sergi Sabrià, said on Monday morning that the party will take part in the election somehow. “We will find the way to be there. Ballot boxes do not frighten us,” he said. Puigdemont's party PDeCAT decided also on Monday morning to take part in December 21 but did not give further details. The party will seek “the best way to respond to Article 155."
The mayor of Barcelona's position on December 21
Left-wing Catalunya en Comú has decided to take part in the election but does not foresee joining forces with the pro-independence sector. Catalunya en Comú, whose main leader is Barcelona mayor, Ada Colau, is in favor of an agreed referendum with Madrid but is ambiguous about independence.
The leader in Catalonia of left-wing Podemos hesitated about taking part in the election. He decided to launch meetings with “political and social organizations committed to the defense of democratic values and the right to decide of the Catalan people, and with the defense of social rights.” However Podemos’ leadership in Madrid wants to join forces not with the pro-independence parties, but with Catalunya en Comú.