The speaker of the Catalan Parliament, Roger Torrent, has convened the investiture debate for the candidate to the presidency of Catalonia, Carles Puigdemont, for Tuesday 30th January at 3pm. The latest attempt by the Spanish government to try and prevent Puigdemont from being the candidate, this time via the Council of State, has fallen spectacularly flat on its face with the resounding slap for Mariano Rajoy's executive and the appeal's promoter, Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría.
The fallacy that Puigdemont couldn't be chosen for the role, as his rights have been restricted, didn't even pass the filter of a consultative body comprised entirely of former leading lights of PP and PSOE politics like Romay Beccaría, Landelino Lavilla, Miguel Herrero y Rodríguez de Miñón, Juan Carlos Rodríguez Ibarra, Alberto Aza and María Teresa Fernández de la Vega. This gives the idea that the planned fraud, on a scale of one to ten, should fall even beyond that upper limit.
Exempting new developments, which certainly can't be counted out, the session will start on the 30th and not the 31st as Puigdemont had asked Torrent. The speaker rejected that request in accordance with the position held by his party, ERC. I already said last week that the president in exile has won the right to try for investiture: he's supported by the 70 pro-independence seats achieved at the 21st December ballot boxes, something which is all too often forgotten.
The debate between those who believe vote at a distance or an investiture by delegation is possible and those radically against either cannot come before the wishes of the voters as represented by the parliamentarians. In consequence, it's up to the 70 pro-independence deputies to find some way to fulfil the democratic mandate. Nobody challenged any of the 135 when they were candidates and, as such, all without exception are eligible to hold their roles. In the remaining days, that has to be the objective of the parliamentary majority.
The path to new elections should be closed off because the voters were clear in their statement at the ballot boxes on 21st December last year. An election, it should not be forgotten, which was called by Mariano Rajoy. Now it's time to agree how to carry it out and the first step can be nothing other than ensuring Puigdemont's investiture as president can be carried out by the Parliament.