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Catalan MP Pau Juvillà will lodge a cassation appeal with the Spanish Supreme Court to defend his seat after the Central Electoral Commission (JEC) decided to strip the CUP representative and parliamentary Bureau member of his seat. Juvillà will fight the decision in his personal capacity, but at the same time, the legal services of the Catalan chamber will present an appeal to the same court. All this was explained this Friday by the far-left deputy in a press conference at which he appeared accompanied by the speaker of parliament, Laura Borràs, his fellow Bureau members Alba Vergés, Rubén Wagensberg and Aurora Madaula, and the Comuns MP Lucas Ferro.

In his appearance, Juvillà warned that all legal avenues will be exhausted to defend his seat, and explained that the decision is not being fought as an individual struggle, but a collective one, to serve as a precedent to protect the rights of MPs and their voters: "We are not struggling to retain anything and we are not giving up on anything, it is about making this case into a tool to denounce the situation, and we will use the best possible strategy." In that regard, both the CUP and the other pro-independence and pro-sovereignty groups in the Catalan chamber are discussing possible joint strategic approaches: they will consider demanding interim or urgent interim measures to delay the decision. In any case, Juvillà made a point of thanking Borràs for her support and her "firmness" in defending his seat.


Juvillà also warned that, if necessary, they will take the case to Europe, and reiterated that this will be done "all together" because it is a collective case, just as he remarked that the decision that led to his conviction, for not removing yellow ribbons from the office of the Lleida city council building during an election campaign when the Electoral Commission demanded it, was also collective: "We decided collectively not to abide by the decisions of the electoral body. It was a conscious transgression and we assume the consequences. This is disobeying unjust laws with the intention of changing them," he said.

Electoral board: not recognized 

The CUP party claims the sovereignty of the Catalan Parliament and, as such, argues its right to disobey the JEC. Its strategy is to maintain that both the JEC and the Parliament can have their say on the deputy's status, with the aim of confronting both institutions in order for the decision of the Parliament to prevail. In the parliamentary session of December 17th, a large majority of MPs voted to protect Juvillà's seat, and that is the objective that the parties expressing solidarity with the case reclaim.

After the JEC's announcement was made public yesterday afternoon, the CUP issued a statement assuring that it did not consider the battle lost, and announced that it did not recognize the JEC's authority because the resolution that prevails is the one approved in the Catalan chamber: "Since it is the Parliament that is competent in this matter and not the JEC, we accept the opinion of December 17th and we will defend the sovereignty of Parliament. Moreover, the JEC is not a judicial body, but an administrative body with very specific functions focused on the electoral process and the disqualification of deputies", the party pointed out.

Battle in Parliament

Just over a month ago, on December 14th, 2021, Juvillà was banned from public office for six months by the Catalan High Court for disobedience, for not removing the yellow ribbons from the window of the office that the anti-capitalist group had in the Lleida city council building, in 2019. Juvillà argued that he was exercising his right to freedom of expression. On December 17th, the seat of Juvillà was given protection by Parliament until all appeals are exhausted. At that point, after complaints from the PP, Vox and Ciudadanos, the JEC opened an attack on the Catalan Parliament, specifically addressed to the speaker, Laura Borràs.

Yesterday, Laura Borràs said on social media: "I have always said that I will protect the rights of all deputies to guarantee the rights and freedoms of their constituents and that the basic anti-repression principle of supporting the affected person and their organization must be respected. Pau Juvillà, you know that you have me by your side".