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Every time that the unity of the Catalan independence movement is faltering, Madrid makes a move which shows just how necessary it is. Despite the clear disagreements of recent weeks over what strategy to follow, in the end JxCat, ERC and CUP have agreed on a joint document ratifying Quim Torra as president of Catalonia. It describes the Central Electoral Commission's decision to oust him as a coup d'état, expresses its support for Carles Puigdemont, Toni Comín and Oriol Junqueras being MEPs and once again demands that the right to self-determination be recognised.

The text not only denounces the existence of "a general case against the independence movement" but also calls for the "end of the repression, the recognition of the right of the people of Catalonia to self-determination, an amnesty for the prisoners, the free return of the exiles, a full guarantee for the exercising and defence of the public's civil and political rights and the need to promote a national agreement to defend it".

Although the draft bill is only signed by the pro-independence parties, ERC is confident it will be supported by En Comú and even PSC in some aspects. The latter party yesterday expressed "serious doubts" that an administrative body like the Central Electoral Commission can remove a Catalan president from office.

Motions from PSC and En Comú

Indeed, both PSC, the Catalan affiliate of the party of Spanish prime minister Pedro Sánchez, and En Comú have presented their own motions to be voted on during this afternoon's debate in the Parliament.

PSC's motion agrees in some aspects with the pro-independence bill. Specifically, they "note that the causes for the dismissal of the president are set out in the Statute [of Autonomy of Catalonia], the presidency law and the Parliament's rules" and that, relevantly, the sentence from the High Court of Justice of Catalonia banning him from office, behind the Commission's decision, "is not yet final". It goes further and calls on the Parliament's Board to appeal the Electoral Commission's ruling.

Catalunya en Comú, meanwhile, have submitted a bill in practically the same spirit as that of JxCat, ERC and CUP, but with a more modulated tone and avoiding any reference to self-determination. It says the Commission "has overreached in its role, violating the right to passive suffrage" and rejects the decisions to ban both Torra and Junqueras from holding public office. It links yesterday's decision to a "strategy from the right and far right to interfere in the investiture debate".


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