Catalan president Carles Puigdemont has this Friday met with CUP (Popular Unity Candidacy) members Anna Gabriel and Benet Salellas in Brussels the party has confirmed in a press statement.
The meeting comes as Puigdemont keeps up his pressure for a joint list of pro-independence parties for the 21st December election. This very Friday, in an interview with Catalan news agency ACN, the president expressed his readiness to head up "out of moral duty" the joint list in the form of a group of electors as being promoted by part of the civil society. Catalan elections are run via a variant of proportional representation. Parties can propose an ordered list of candidates for each province and seats are then awarded to the candidates based on vote share.
Puigdemont's decision to do everything possible to make such a joint candidacy between parties possible has led his PDeCAT (Catalan Democratic European Party) party to postpone until next Wednesday their national council meeting originally planned for this Saturday to choose their lists.
Meeting with the ministers.
According to the CUP, as well as meeting with Puigdemont, Gabriel and Salellas also saw the Catalan ministers with him in Brussels, Toni Comín, Clara Ponsatí, Lluís Puig and Meritxell Serret. In the meetings, CUP wanted to express their support for the "part of the legitimate and republican government of Catalonia which remains free", in these moments of "democratic repression Catalonia is living through". They also shared their concerns over the imprisonment of eight ministers and the continued "repressive offensive towards the Parliament's Board".
Anna Gabriel emphasised the attitude of the Spanish justice system towards Catalonia: "This isn't a problem of the PP [Popular Party] government, it's structural: prosecutors, judges and police are the backbone of this '78 [post-Franco] regime which has shown itself incapable of recognising rights and which only knows how to repress those who exercise them".
The CUP is holding an assembly this Sunday in Granollers in which they will decide whether to stand in the upcoming election, which was called by Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy as part of the application of article 155 of the Spanish Constitution and the intervention in Catalan autonomy. If they do decide to stand, they will choose between a number of possible forms: alone, as part of a "left-wing front" or through a list of members of the public in favour of independence and outside of the party system.
CUP's decision, which means the end of the road for a broader candidacy including the centre-right PDeCAT. It also led to PDeCAT's current coalition partners, ERC (Catalan Republican Left), realising it would be impossible to move forwards with a broader formula than their current Junts pel Sí (Together for Yes) to include all the pro-independence parties and parts of the Comuns (Commons) and Podem (We Can). ERC will also hold a national council this Saturday to approve their candidate lists.