Read in Catalan

The pro-independence parties have decided to buy time over the case of Pau Juvillà, by waiting for the decision of the Supreme Court on the request for interim measures as a way of maintaining the threatened Catalan MP in his seat. Today has been a day of comings and goings as pro-independence groups met at Parliament: throughout the morning and part of the afternoon, deputies of ERC, Junts and CUP, along with speaker Laura Borràs, have been debating and drafting their opinion to resolve the situation of the CUP deputy Pau Juvillà in order to attempt to continue shielding his seat against the push by the Central Electoral Commission (JEC), which last Friday withdrew his seat as an MP following his earlier conviction in the Catalan High Court for refusing to remove yellow ribbons hung from a Lleida council building window. This Wednesday's meetings, long and intense due to disagreements between the parties, also forced the postponement for two hours of the critical meeting of the MPs Statute Committee, which finally started at 6pm. It also elected a new chairperson, Junts MP and lawyer Jaume Alonso-Cuevillas, who replaced another Junts MP, David Saldoni.

The MPs Committee approved the document prepared by the pro-independence groups, with support from those three parties - ERC, Junts and the CUP - plus the Comuns. It states that Juvillà is still a member of parliament. This time the Socialists of the PSC changed their position from the same committee's December meeting on the issue, and whereas they had then backed the continuity of the CUP deputy, they now decided to withdraw their support. In the draft, consulted by, they propose to maintain the MP's seat but set out that the limit to disobedience must be to avoid affecting public servants of the Parliament, although they do not specify what actions they will carry out to maintain Pau Juvillà's rights as a deputy. Specifically, in the preamble to the proposal, the pro-independence parties argue that Juvillà's sentence banning him from office is not yet final and that there is an appeal pending in the Supreme Court, and thus "the limit of political disobedience to state repression includes protecting public servants from any criminal and accounting liability for which they may be prosecuted."


After this preamble, which was not voted by the committee, comes the final part, which was passed, stating that Parliament finds that, out of all the possible grounds for loss of MP status set out in Rule 24 of Parliament's Rules of Procedure, none are applicable to Pau Juvillà. These grounds are: resignation submitted to the Bureau; final court decision annulling the election or proclamation; death or incapacity; termination of the mandate; a sentence of disqualification from office imposed as a final court decision. In addition, the statement approved by the committee says that, as Parliament has lodged an appeal with the Supreme Court requesting the suspension of the effects of the JEC's notification to withdraw the MP's seat, the decision of the JEC "cannot be enforced while the Supreme Court's resolution of the requested interim measures, which have already been admitted for consideration by the court, is pending."

All this happens in an anomalous day for the Catalan chamber, in which the institution's activity has been completely disrupted through the cancellation of all committee meetings, in line with yesterday's agreement by the Bureau of Parliament, which recommended a stoppage of all activity to protest against the interference of the electoral board, as well as to show the unity of the pro-independence forces by taking a common stand against repression. On the same day, Pau Juvillà announced that he had cancer, after explaining in the last two days that he was affected by a health problem. The illness will make it impossible for him to carry out his political activity normally for a period of time.

Jaume Alonso Cuevillas rueda prensa junts diputado - Sergi Alcàzar

The MPs Statute Committee chairperson and Junts deputy, Jaume Alonso-Cuevillas / Sergi Alcàzar

The resolution of the MPs Statute Committee, which will have to be ratified in a plenary session that will be probably called for Friday, comes two days before the deadline set by the JEC for Borràs to finally strip the CUP deputy of his seat. Although their were difficulties in reaching agreement amongst the three pro-independence parties on the text to be put to the committee, party differences were not a factor in the committee meeting itself. The main point of difference was with the CUP, which advocated a stronger statement, to ensure that Juvillà will continue to hold his seat until the Supreme Court rules on his appeal. The CUP's Eulalia Reguant asserted the need to go beyond the limits that the state imposes in order to make progress towards a referendum. "Pau has no willingness to renounce his status as an MP" she concluded.