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The president of the Council for the Republic, Carles Puigdemont, has this Friday presented the team that will accompany him in the Catalan political exile body's new phase, after being elected by its Assembly of Representatives as president of the body at the beginning of March. Five men and five women are to work side by side with the Catalan president in exile.

The team includes exiled government ministers Lluís Puig and Toni Comín, the musician and former MP Lluís Llach, the current MP and member of the Bureau of Parliament Aurora Madaula, the spokesperson of the Demòcrates party Antoni Castellà, the spokesperson for the CUP component group Poble Lliure Guillem Fuster, the lawyer Teresa Vallverdú, the Òmnium member Neus Torbisco, the member of the Assembly of Representatives Montserrat Corrons and the former councillor for the left-wing ICV Carme Garcia.

On March 5th this year, the assembly elected Carles Puigdemont as president of the Council for the Republic, no longer as a founding position but an organic one, as the institution has now completed its process of democratic deployment. Puigdemont has now formed the Council's new government, which will accompany him for the next two years of its legislature. The location for the presentation of the new team was Ribesaltes, in Northern Catalonia, where Puigdemont set out the functions that each member will perform.

President Puigdemont clarified that until now the Council has been made up of people who represented entities and political parties, acting as a transmission belt between the Council and their respective spaces, but now the members of the Council's government are not there as representatives of their groups: "We have asked them to be part of the government for what they can contribute in a personal capacity, for their political value, for their commitment to the Council, for their professional specialization," said Puigdemont, who left the door open to new additions during this two-year term.


The vice-president is Toni Comín, who will carry out the day-to-day executive work and the relationship and coordination with the majority of members of the Council government. Antoni Castellà will be in charge of relations with the Assembly of Representatives and institutional relations. Aurora Madaula will hold the position of head of internal political action, which does not only mean the local Councils for the Republic, but also everything that has to do with the integration of the Council as a republican institution - that is, a body of a Catalan Republic.

Teresa Vallverdú will work in the field of regulatory deployment, which will have to provide the Council with its own regulatory corpus, an institution that has been created practically from scratch and that must therefore be self-constituted, so it will have to deploy an operating framework that takes into account participation and democratic renewal. Support for the local Councils will be coordinated by Montse Corrons, an area that Puigdemont has already affirmed will be a priority in this term, making the local groups into protagonists. Carme Garcia, for her part, will be in charge of coordinating the delegations of the Catalan countries, a space where the Council for the Republic wants to continue growing.

International action will be planned by Neus Torbisco, who, in addition to coordinating human resources, will set a political direction for the development of this task. Guillem Fuster will be the secretary of the Council government and head of economic action, that is, he will manage the body's internal challenges at the economic level while also working on external projects such as Catalonia's economic sovereignty. Closing the area of ​​responsibilities, Lluís Puig will formally move into the cultural action area in which he has already been working - in charge, among other things, of the Council's publications.

And last but not least, there will be the emblematic Lluís Llach, who, as Puigdemont explained, will not have a specific portfolio, but will be a political adviser. In what sense? Puigdemont explained that Llach is an absolutely enriching figure, essential in the political talks that the Council and the independence movement must have, for the vision he can contribute from an independence stance, a vision "absolutely essential in order to guide things."

After the presentation, president Puigdemont emphasized the work carried out in this first legislature and assured that "local councils will play a key role in political action". In turn, vice president Toni Comín said that "the new government will begin its term with a political declaration that will be made public in the coming days" and that, in this legislature, "it must move from resistance to confrontation.” That is why “specific proposals” will be made to the parties and entities in the document 'Preparem-nos' ("Let’s get ready"), which is the strategy that during the previous legislature the Council offered to the whole of the independence movement to put into practice the mandate of Catalonia's 1st October referendum.

Puigdemont's strategy

When he was elected president, in his speech to the Assembly of Representatives, Puigdemont stated that the parties had been unable to define the strategy for culminating independence, and that the Council for the Republic must reduce its dependence on them: "The Council must take the initiative without waiting for prior consensus between the parties, because it has already been seen that this consensus is impossible in the current circumstances," he warned.

Throughout his speech, Puigdemont avoided citing any party explicitly, but referred to the need to eradicate "fratricidal attitudes" that would damage relations between pro-independence activists; he stressed that the parties have shown that they are capable of agreeing on an autonomous government but "unable to define the strategy for independence, not even to create the conditions under which this strategy should be built." All in all, he warned that once the initial phase of creation is over, the Council must change its approach to the parties in general, "it must increase the intensity and quality of relations and reduce its dependence on them". "They are essential and any strategy of the Council must include the role of the parties, but the Council must take the initiative without waiting for prior consensus between the parties, because it has already been seen that it is impossible in the current circumstances," he said.