"The legislature has no further course to run if unity cannot be rebuilt." It was on January 29th that Catalan president Quim Torra officially announced in the Palau de la Generalitat that the legislature would end once the government had passed its budget, which occurred on April 24th. Two-hundred and eighteen days have passed since that solemn announcement, with a pandemic in between, an electoral calendar that has never come fully into play, and not only has there been no call to the polls but there will not be, and on the contrary, Quim Torra has just made the first reshuffle of the government. A circumstance that is certainly curious and to some extent surprising with elections to take place - if the Supreme Court ratifies the disqualification of Torra in the hearing on the 17th of this month and then issues a sentence within a couple of weeks, as the president's lawyers believe - around the first fortnight of February.
The three changes Torra has made, however, have an explanation. Politically speaking, the most significant is that of the minister Miquel Buch, who is leaving the department of the interior after deep disagreements with the president with whom he never had the slightest rapport. Interestingly, Buch, an innate politician, has suffered damage from the violence by the Mossos d'Esquadra police during demonstrations although his policies were among those most highly valued by public opinion, according to the CEO research agency. Internally, he has, with his left hand, reformulated the leadership hierarchy of the Mossos after all that happened in the Trapero case and he has brought to a close long-running issues among different bodies such as the firefighters and Civil Protection. But this whole chapter of his management of the department had no public importance alongside the conflicts in the demonstrations and the resulting complaints of many pro-independence sectors - the CUP, ERC and also JxCAT - which had an effect on Torra.
In politics such things happen, and thus in just over two years Buch has gone from being able a possible future president of the Generalitat of Catalonia after the failed investitures of Carles Puigdemont, Jordi Sánchez and Jordi Turull, prevented by the Supreme Court or the Constitutional Court - which even disputed the appointment of Torra - to being outside the government. Although he has been removed from the job by the president, Buch has not hidden his desire to leave the government for months.
The departure of Àngels Chacón is simply a purge for having stayed in the PDeCAT and not having moved over to Junts per Catalunya. There is nothing else, politically speaking, although her substitute is, in this case, a politician with a long record - former MEP Ramon Tremosa, very well connected in Brussels and with very good relations with the international economic sphere. A different case is that of the minister Mariàngela Vilallonga, appointed by Torra with the legislature already underway to replace Laura Borràs and who has not performed as expected. The president wanted Borràs to return, he worked for it, but he has had to give it up. It remains, however, his wish for the future.
With the changes in the government, Torra thus reveals his cards for the final stretch of the legislature. He will remain in the Palau de la Generalitat until his disqualification, he will hand over to vice president Pere Aragonès, who will be acting president for the period of about four months set down for the presentation of a candidate (article 67 of the Statute of Catalonia) and the calling of elections (article 56) and the polls, if the public health situation allows it, will then draw a new electoral map. Torra has rewritten what he said on January 29th or it has been rewritten for him. The legislature stumbles on. Although unity is conspicuous by its absence.