The complex electoral map of the pro-Catalan independence side for the upcoming election on 21st December seems to be clearing up. There will be three separate candidacies and a certain non-aggression pact so that they can all manage to separately rake up undecided voters where a single candidacy wouldn't collect them all. President Puigdemont and vice-president Junqueras will face each other as the headliners with apparently different formulae and without knowing what their legal situation will be at the time. Puigdemont is working on an electoral list with two clear parameters: it's not a PDeCAT (Catalan European Democratic Party) list, nor does it include the most representative names of PDeCAT or its predecessor, Convergència. As a consequence, PDeCAT's participation will be instrumental to enjoy the preferences of a parliamentary party when it comes to the logistics to do with economic support and presence in electoral blocks. For the rest, they're looking for a name like Barcelona en Comú (Barcelona in Common) which repeats the blueprint mayor Ada Colau used in the city hall election. In this case it should include the word "Catalunya" and, preferably, some reference to the 1st October referendum.
The president has carte blanche from his party on whom acronyms and history weigh much more than it seems. Some much so that a political party founded in July 2016 to bury Convergència didn't compete with the new name in the Spanish election in June 2016, nor will it now in this Catalan election. There will be independents, mayors and an important renovation. And, surely, at the head of the four lists, one for each province, will be the ministers in prison or in exile. The Puigdemont gale has swept up even PDeCAT's coordinator, Marta Pascal, who will focus on the municipal elections in 2018 and won't appear on the list. The widespread conviction that the verdict in the cas Palau corruption case, which Convergència's funding is implicated in, will end up being announced during the five weeks that remain before the 21st December also acts as a catalyst to separate as far as possible the list from any link to corruption.
If Puigdemont's candidacy is basically a candidacy of people, Junqueras' list is above all a group of political parties which expands ERC's (Catalan Republican Left) electoral space in both directions. Toni Castellà's Demòcrates (Democrats) gives them a sheen towards the Christian Democratic right and two who have split from PSC (Socialist Party of Catalonia), Avancem (Let's advance) and MES (Left Movement) move them towards the space of the Spanish socialist party. If in the end Dante Fachin joins, that will give a wink towards Podemos' (We Can) electorate. Junqueras comes to this election with a large part of his homework done. ERC has been able to benefit from PDeCAT's weaknesses and Junqueras, with a generous admissions policy, has expanded the party's base, which gave credibility to their project and put them on the starting grid as a party clearly in the lead.
The third pro-independence party, CUP (Popular Unity Candidacy), has agreed this Sunday their participation in the election, important to prevent part of their electorate to end up with Comuns (Commons), who are not pro-independence. CUP will look to incorporate other parties of their anti-capitalist space to safeguard for the left any orphan voters there might be. Repeating the absolute majority of seats and, finally, reaching 50% of votes is the objective for 21st December. A challenge that's not at all easy after the application of article 155 of the Spanish Constitution, the government in prison or in exile and the de facto occupation of the Catalan institutions. But nor is it impossible if each of the three candidacies play their cards well and prioritise the wishes to help each other above those to destroy each other.