A Catalonia, a region with more than 7.7 million inhabitants, has had governments led by nationalist and separatist parties for 14 consecutive years and experienced an attempt at self-determination that culminated in a unilateral declaration of independence in 2017. This was followed by the suspension of autonomy and the arrest or flight abroad of separatist leaders.

These are some essential points about these elections:


The latest polls were from last Monday – Spanish law does not allow them in the five days before the elections – and they all gave a clear victory to the Socialist Party (PSC), but far from the absolute majority, which in the Catalan parliament they are, at least least 68 deputies.

In second place was Together for Catalonia (JxCat, center-right independentists), led by former autonomous president Carles Puigdemont, who has lived in Belgium since 2017 to escape Spanish justice and campaigned for these elections from the south of France. .

Both Puigdemont and the socialist candidate, Salvador Illa, have gained ground in recent weeks, to the detriment of the current regional president, Pere Aragonès, of the also independent Republican Left of Catalonia (ERC), which appears in the most recent studies in third place.

According to polls, this year, for the first time in more than a decade, there is no guarantee of an independent absolute majority in the Catalan parliament and, therefore, of the re-edition of the separatist “contraptions” that have been formed since 2017.

The scenarios are even more uncertain because of the almost 40% of undecided people who appeared in one of the polls.

Post-election scenarios

Socialist Salvador Illa admitted an agreement with the ERC during the campaign, but said he will only refuse to speak with the extreme right. He ended the campaign calling for a broad victory that would allow him to govern.

Puigdemont called for independence unity and mobilization and guaranteed that he would never make Illa president of the Generalitat.

Aragonès, president of the Generalitat since 2020, has not committed to or rejected any scenario, including that of no alliances with any party, which would open the door to a political blockade and a repeat of the elections in the autumn.

Impact on Spanish governance

The outcome of Sunday’s elections in Catalonia could have a direct impact on political stability in Spain, as the government of socialist Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez depends on the parliamentary support of the two largest independence parties in the region (JxCat and ERC).

The ERC has already said that the results and possible post-election agreements do not call into question the commitments made in Madrid. Puigdemont has already threatened to withdraw support for Sánchez if the socialists accept the votes of the Popular Party (PP, Spanish right) to make a regional executive led by independentists unfeasible, as happened last year in the Barcelona city council.

At the head of the Government of Spain since 2018, Pedro Sánchez’s Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE) granted pardons to separatists convicted of the 2017 attempt at self-determination, changed the penal code to end the crime of sedition that others were accused of and has now moved forward with an amnesty that is about to be definitively approved and from which Puigdemont will benefit.

These measures were negotiated with the ERC – which has made all of Sánchez’s governments viable since 2018 – and, in the case of amnesty, also with JxCat, on which the PSOE also began to depend, last year, to remain in power.

Independence (almost) out of the campaign

Independence parties have lost ground in successive elections since 2017 and the issue of separation from Spain has changed in the speeches and proposals of JxCat and ERC, the two forces that have been at the head of the Generalitat.

The ERC clearly abandoned the “unilateral path” to independence and opted for dialogue and negotiation with the Spanish central government, claiming pardons or amnesty as its achievements. It now wants to negotiate the terms for a self-determination referendum, one of the great flags presented in these elections.

JxCat always criticized “the dialogue table” that the ERC opened with Madrid, but ended up negotiating an amnesty with Sánchez last year. Puigdemont no longer talks about declaring independence unilaterally nor did he present in these elections a proposal for a concrete action plan or a timetable for the objective of separation from Spain. JxCat’s speech is that it is the only force that makes Madrid tremble and asks voters for more power to pressure and negotiate with the central government, starting with a referendum.

What do the Catalans want?

The most recent survey by the Center for Opinion Studies, a public body in the region, launched in March, revealed that 30% of respondents argue that Catalonia should be independent, that 31% want to maintain the current autonomy status and that 23% would like for Spain to evolve into a federation. Of those who want independence, only 9% defended the option of a unilateral declaration.

What seems to be most consensual is the desire for a referendum on self-determination, legal and recognized by national authorities: 76% support holding this consultation.

Other parties and the advance of the extreme right

The Catalan parliament has 135 deputies who are currently distributed across eight parties: Socialist (33), ERC (33), JxCat (32), Vox (11, extreme right), CUP – Popular Unity Candidacy (9, independentist left) , Commons Podemos (8, left), Citizens (6, liberals) and PP (3, right).

If the polls are confirmed, Cidadãos, as is happening throughout Spain, will disappear from parliament, which will benefit the Popular Party (PP).

On the other hand, all studies estimate the entry into the Catalan parliament of the Catalan Alliance, an extreme right-wing independence party with a discourse very focused on immigration that is considered xenophobic and even racist. This would make Catalonia an unprecedented case in Spain, as it now has the only parliament with two far-right parties.

Five parties, including the socialist, JxCat and ERC, signed a document this week in which they committed to a “cordon sanitaire” for the Catalan Alliance, stating that they will not negotiate with the party nor accept the votes of its deputies to reach the government .

Read Also: Catalonia. Socialists call for victory for a new stage without independence

Source: https://www.noticiasaominuto.com/mundo/2558559/eleicoes-na-catalunha-acontecem-domingo-eis-os-pontos-essenciais

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