Catalonia is assured of having a new president on Monday. In spite of last-minute doubts that had been raised, the CUP party will not be an obstacle to the election of candidate Quim Torra as president. This was determined at a special political council meeting of the left-wing pro-independence party, held this Sunday, which agreed that the party's four parliamentary deputies will maintain their vote of abstention. This will facilitate the investiture of JxCat deputy Torra on Monday by a simple majority. The four CUP abstentions were indispensable, given that the two largest pro-independence groups, JxCat and ERC, have a total of 66 seats and the combined opposition, 65. The remaining four votes, those of the CUP, are thus decisive.
Although the CUP has announced that, along with the decision to abstain in the investiture, they will opt for a role of “active opposition” in the new Parliament, they have justified that they will not block the investiture “because of the repression and breaches of constitutional and civil rights on the part of the Spanish state”. The meeting of the CUP political council was called urgently on Friday after three of the party's territorial assemblies asked for it. The final decision on abstention was not taken unanimously, but by a "large majority"; to be specific, by 40 votes in favour of abstention to 24 who wanted a "no" vote.
The CUP put two questions to council members to decide the vote on the investiture of Torra. The first of these asked members if they wanted to enable the investiture of Torra or not. Those who replied affirmatively were then asked a second question, where they had to choose on whether to give a green light through mere abstention in Parliament of the party's four MPs, sufficient to elect Torra as president, or whether they favoured an affirmative vote for Torra.
Torra "fell short"
Speaking after the meeting in the Catalan town of Cervera, CUP national secretariat spokesperson Lluc Salellas justified the party's decision to not block the investiture because of the “situation of authentic repression” which Catalonia is experiencing. However, he also stressed that the party reached a consensus in its diagnosis: “Our party members consider that the political actions of both JxCat and ERC represent "a shift backwards from what had already been achieved”. The party regrets that Quim Torra's speech to present his candidature on Saturday “fell short” and believes it should have gone “much further”. However, the party's position is that it has taken note of the positive parts of his speech, and will fight to ensure that these declarations do not become "words lost in the wind".
CUP deputy Maria Sirvent added that the abstentions “cannot be interpreted as collaboration with or support for the Catalan government”. And she warned: “We will not facilitate governability”. In this regard she reiterated that the party will take a role of “active opposition” to ensure that JxCat and ERC assume the mandate of the 1st October referendum.
The CUP party also held a meeting of its National Strategic Assembly in Cervera, discussing the political strategy of the far-left group in the medium and long term. The next date on the agenda is this Monday morning at half past ten, when the second ballot of the debate for the presidential investiture of Quim Torra begins, with the necessary votes now assured.