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Catalan pro-independence party ERC has held a huge, emotional rally, putting everything on the line to close its campaign for this Sunday's Spanish general election. The event started with simultaneous live connections with Soto del Real prison and Geneva, with Oriol Junqueras and Raül Romeva and with Marta Rovira, the first time they've seen each other in over a year.

Just hours before campaigning for this Sunday's Spanish election ends, Junqueras, the party's president, called on voters to opt for them tactically as "the only pro-independence and republican party that can win the election [within Catalonia]". He claimed it's the most pro-independence party "that's ever existed" and the one that's suffered the most repression, saying this makes it the party which "can best culminate the republic".

With an audience of more than 3,000 people, Junqueras attacked PSOE, currently in government in Spain, as "not to be trusted". He noted they reached an agreement with centre-right, strongly anti-independence party Ciudadanos in 2015 to invest a government in Andalusia, that they supported the central government intervention in Catalonia in 2017 and allowed Mariano Rajoy to become Spanish prime minister. He said they stopped negotiations with Catalonia due to "fear of plaza Colón". "PSOE isn't a party to be trusted, ERC is - it's always stayed true to Catalonia and to the Republic," he said.

Miting ERC Badalona - Sergi Alcàzar

Photo: Sergi Alcàzar

Rovira's remarks

Marta Rovira, Junqueras' deputy, was clearly moved to see him again, but also motivated about Sunday's election. She called on voters to fill "ballot boxes with liberty and civil and political rights", to vote for "dignity and against those who have no shame, against the judicialisation [of politics], in favour of democracy and against a state which is leaning every further to the far right".

She also appealed for voters to not stay at home and abstain, that after this Sunday "there is no going back". She also warned that "the only guarantee that PSOE won't reach a pact with Cs is for ERC to be very large and decisive".