The overwhelming victory of Laura Borràs in the Junts per Catalunya (Together for Catalonia, JxCat) primaries, in which she took 75.8% of the vote, clarifies the question of where the soul of the Carles Puigdemont-led party is located and what strategies it will apply from now on. What she argued for in this internal campaign among party membership can be summarized in four points: defence of a unilateral route to the independence of Catalonia, a willingness to put into effect the mandate of the October 1st referendum, criticism of the agreements reached with the Spanish government and of the disputes in Catalan ministries most in the eyes of the storms of Covid-19, the repression and the political prisoners.
If there was a debate between the alternatives of pragmatism and radicalism, embodied respectively by current minister Damià Calvet on the one hand and former minister and current JxCat spokesperson in Madrid Borràs on the other, the defenders of the first option have lost, as they only managed to take 20.5% of the votes, just under 1,000 ballot papers. Among the defeated are also at least three of the four ministers that Junts has in Lledoners prison, because Rull, Turull and Forn all strongly supported Calvet and campaigned, as much as they could, for the minister. For the old convergent structure time does not stand still. This also means that JxCat and PDeCAT are more differentiated as projects today than if Calvet had won.
Although Borràs's victory was almost taken for granted - although not by such a broad margin, certainly - there at least two aspects still to be cleared up. The first, the role of Carles Puigdemont in the campaign and on the list. In the internal primary campaign, the president in exile did not publicly back any candidate and now will be talking to the winner to clarify the few doubts that remain. Puigdemont has already expressed his desire to be the leader in the election campaign and it remains to be seen whether this translates into heading the party candidate list for Barcelona, or even Girona. In any case the electoral ticket will be Puigdemont-Borràs, this is scarcely in doubt.
Then there is the case for alleged corruption that the Spanish Supreme Court is pursuing, investigating the period when Borràs directed the publicly-funded literary body Institució de les Lletres Catalanes. Due to her position as an MP, with immunity from prosecution in lower courts, the Supreme Court has been in charge of the investigation. As soon as she resigns her seat in Congress, the Supreme Court will have to disregard the proceedings, and the matter will pass to the Catalan High Court (TSJC), which will begin a new case.
One last note: Borràs's victory gives an idea of the profile of the candidates who are best positioned to win the second series of JxCat primaries for the top places in the party candidate lists. Some leaders who were willing to take the plunge might have to do the numbers again. On the other hand, others - like Joan Canadell - are likely to have it a little easier.