The acceptance of the agreement with the Republican Left (ERC) by 83% of the Together for Catalonia (Junts) party membership is neither banal nor without significance, and, probably, marks a change of register in the always complicated journey of transformation of what was a movement into a political party. The first step was to conclude a deal for a new government, which was not easy given the evolution of the negotiation with ERC. A pact that, moreover, would resist the possibility of being trapped in a government without clear political priorities and would have a ministerial presence equivalent to that of ERC in the previous executive. I think there is very broad agreement that, with these two coordinates as a preamble, Junts has not ended up with a bad deal. Indeed, the vast majority of the party faithful have confirmed this.
The fact that the agreement was sealed by Pere Aragonès and Jordi Sànchez personally is the second key element whose importance must be recognized. Aragonès played the role expected of a presidential candidate, but also, Sànchez squeezed every last drop out of his position as party general secretary. No one doubts the role of Carles Puigdemont as the undisputed leader of Junts which is still, in many respects, a movement. But in its transformation into a party, Jordi Sànchez decides more and more. Let no one be mistaken: not in opposition to president Puigdemont, but because the latter has voluntarily stepped aside in the day-to-day running of the party.
And here we enter the third coordinate: the transition from a movement that, by definition, is horizontal, to a party that, necessarily for its proper functioning, has vertical lines. The movement can be assembly-based, the party is usually hierarchical. When, this Wednesday, Elsa Artadi announced that she would not be a member of the Catalan government, and that rather, her option was to continue as a Barcelona city councillor and to try and assault Ada Colau's fiefdom, she was only pointing out a strategy that, in politics, is usually rewarded, and is indispensable in a party: persist for more than one election if you really aspire to achieve your goal. Xavier Trias was mayor in 2011 after trying in 2003 and 2007. It is not a question of her worth, but about the best decision that combines her own interests and those of Junts.
Artadi's resignation opens a new scenario over who will hold the vice presidency and will be the number two in the government. Tremosa? Puigneró? A third person, whose name has not come to light? It will be important to find out who that is, although the coordination of the seven ministers will be under Jordi Sànchez. And anyone not clear on that has not understood what is happening in Junts.