One of the unknowns on how the current Catalan political legislature will end seems to have been definitively resolved: president Quim Torra will not call elections before the Spanish Supreme Court hearing on his appeal against disqualification from office, which is scheduled for September 17th, nor will he do so in the interregnum between the hearing and the sentencing that will end up disqualifying him if the ruling initially made by the High Court of Catalonia is maintained. Thus, the return to normal activity in Catalan politics after summer will have just two priorities: the start of the new school year in a few days with all the uncertainties arising from the situation caused by Covid-19 and the economic crisis after a season without foreign tourism, with hundreds of thousands of Catalans still on ERTO furlough schemes and a September ahead in which the doors of many businesses will remain closed.
Throughout the summer, Torra has mulled over his decision amid the data, often worrying, about the situation of the coronavirus in different parts of Catalonia. As of this Monday, the large metropolitan cities will once again be at their usual level of occupancy, adding a new element of concern with regard to the evolution of contagions. And while the authorities express confidence that the school year has been well prepared, everything could go awry if the checks on the illness in schools do not meet expectations and the curves skyrocket.
The combination of this concern and another opinion - fairly widespread in the Junts per Catalunya party, that the need for elections does not have a very prominent position in the minds of ordinary Catalans at the moment, has decided Quim Torra. At a stretch, it could happen that the Supreme Court postpones the trial of Torra due to the evolution of the health situation in Madrid. And the sentence could also be delayed, for internal reasons of the Supreme Court, when it has always been speculated that it would come out about ten or fifteen days after the trial. If this timetable is met, Torra's disqualification will be activated by October 1st, which, in practice, would mean that he would have to resign.
If there were no parliamentary agreement, which is the most likely thing, the legislature would come to an end due to the time limits provided for in the Statute and the rules of Parliament, as a new president could not be installed and elections would automatically be called. For the second time in a row, it would be an election not called by the Catalan president, as in the December 2017 vote when the president and the government of Catalonia had been suspended from office by Mariano Rajoy and the application of article 155 of the Spanish constitution. Another example of the uniqueness of Catalan politics and the incursion of Spanish justice in its electoral calendar.