The Catalan Parliament's governing Board has this Tuesday struck down the delegated votes of president Carles Puigdemont and the imprisoned JxCat deputies Jordi Sànchez, Jordi Turull and Josep Rull. It did so with the votes of ERC and PSC and the abstention of Cs. JxCat voted for them to be able to delegate their votes.
During the meeting, the Board called on JxCat to change its decision and to designate substitutes "or lose the majority". Puigdemont's group has already responded: the four refuse to designate replacements and, as such, accept the loss of the pro-independence majority in the chamber.
The Board's position today goes against its decisions last Thursday and this Monday through the pro-independence majority of ERC and JxCat.
ERC has changed its position after a report from the Parliament's lawyers, officially called for by speaker Roger Torrent at the request of PSC, which rejects the plan for the four to continue delegating their votes, instead of nominating substitutes. The change demonstrates the schism in the Parliament between the government partners. Nonetheless, the government's spokesperson, Elsa Artadi (JxCat), has said there is no reason that parliamentary differences should affect the stability of the government.
ERC calls for JxCat to "conform" to the lawyers
Before finding out JxCat's decision, ERC had demanded they change their position and accept to substitute their deputies, as the plenary session approved a week ago.
The party believes the chamber's lawyers "have made it clear that JxCat's path isn't adapted to the plenary session's resolution" and that "it endagers the validity of the votes". "They have to conform to the agreement, we cannot put the Parliament in a situation of collapse", ERC sources say, "enough rhetoric and short-sighted symbolism".
Despite the agreement between the two groups last week and Friday's joint press conference from president Quim Torra and vice-president Pere Aragonès, ERC has accused JxCat of breaking the agreement from last week's plenary session, warning that doing so "paralyses the Parliament and alters the mandate of the 21st December", referring to the last election.
"The people ask us to agree to move the country forward and we have the agreement: it's the one from the 2nd October, approved by JxCat, ERC and En Comú. If we break it, the republic loses and Llarena wins," the same sources add. Pablo Llarena is the judge investigating Puigdemont and the other deputies for charges including rebellion following last year's independence push.
The lawyers' report is "demolishing"
On Monday, the Board had ratified Thursday's agreement and again accepted for the four JxCat deputies to delegate their votes. Torrent had, however, asked the lawyers for a report the previous Friday, which was presented later on Monday to the members of the Board. According to ERC sources, it's "demolishing".