The pincer movement by the Republican Left (ERC) and the Catalan Socialists (PSC) to gain a few days before the decision of the Central Electoral Commission, which must predictably remove the speaker of Parliament, Laura Borràs, from her seat as an MP next week, amounts to more of a desire to win a few headlines in the upcoming days than a significant political movement.
It is clearly understood that Together for Catalonia (Junts) will not keep Borràs in the speaker's position once the electoral body notifies her that she has lost her seat. The party will propose a new candidate to preside over the Catalan chamber, who will be the mayor of Vic, Anna Erra, while the next person on the Junts electoral list, Antoni Castellà, will take over the vacant seat without any problem.
Over these three movements there is no possible debate within Junts or, at the most, it is a very small one. Another matter is the fact that, after the Catalan High Court's verdict was announced last Thursday, sentencing Borràs to four and a half years in prison and a 13-year ban from holding office, the party under general secretary Jordi Turull chose to maintain the narrative that the sentence had more to do with a case of lawfare - that is, using the law to achieve political purposes - than corruption, and thus left it for the Electoral Commission to push the red button to remove Borràs.
ERC and the PSC, on the other hand, are trying to take advantage of the conviction of the party president, and want Junts to remove her from office. The position of ERC, marked by its president Oriol Junqueras on Tuesday morning, ended up being the same as the stance the Catalan government adopted at noon. In the meantime, the PSC had submitted a proposal to Parliament enabling positions on the Parliamentary Bureau, including that of the speaker, and committee chairs to be removed where required by an absolute majority of the chamber.
This Socialist initiative, which will not be likely to come to fruition in the full Parliament before the electoral body moves to remove Borràs, is completely logical in political terms, quite aside from the case of the speaker, since it aims to place in the hands of the parliamentary majority an instrument that enables personal self-barricading to be overcome. It creates a tool for moving motions of no confidence in members of the Bureau, the speaker of Parliament and the committee chairs.
If we had to advocate for this proposal, we could even consider an approach that would have a full democratic logic and that would be completely new: it would mean that censure votes against senior positions in the Catalan administration appointed by Parliament, such as that of the Catalan Ombudsman or the Public Auditor, would also lead to dismissal and not, as is the case at present, where such a reprimand is a political action without any effect in reality.