Catalan member of parliament, Jordi Sànchez, number two on the Together for Catalonia (JxCat) list headed by Carles Puigdemont, has accepted the candidature for the Catalan presidency proposed by parliamentary speaker Roger Torrent. On Saturday afternoon Torrent concluded the round of contacts with representatives of the political groups represented in the Catalan chamber and announced that he proposed Sànchez as a candidate.
Sànchez, former leader of the pro-independence civil group Catalan National Assembly (ANC), has been in jail on remand for almost six months, facing charges relating to the independence process and last October's referendum. It is the second time he has been nominated as candidate for the Catalan presidency since the Catalan election on 21st December, which the pro-independence parties won but have not been able to consolidate through the formation of a government. The jailed MP sent a tweet on Sunday accepting the nomination:
In plenitude of my constitutional laws, I accept the responsibility, @rogertorrent. Without violence, without any renunciation, hour is of power to speak about every #llibertat pic.twitter.com/pIThZ3yLzC— Jordi Sànchez (@jordialapreso) 8 of April 2018
Translation: With all of my political rights intact, I accept the responsibility, Roger Torrent. With no violence, without renouncing anything, it is time to be able to discuss everything #liberty - Jordi Sànchez
In his tweet accepting the nomination, Jordi Sánchez's references to the absence of violence and appealing for dialogue, were along the same lines as yesterday's discourse in Berlin by Carles Puigdemont. Sànchez had already accepted a possible investiture last Thursday, before the start of the speaker's official consultations. On Thursday, he had also mentioned that he was "fully valid" to take part in the debate for swearing-in of a new president. This was a reference to both the political and the legal objections which have been raised by the Spanish authorities in the process of choosing a new Catalan president, given that the leading candidates for the position all face independence-related legal processes, some being in prison and others in exile outside Spain.
JxCat insists on Sànchez
The JxCat group is committed to Jordi Sànchez now as its first-choice candidate. Several leading members of the group, such as Eduard Pujol and Elsa Artadi, confirmed this at the weekend. Artadi affirmed on Sunday morning that the CUP, the third and smallest of the pro-independence parties, will not vote against Sànchez in the investiture debate, but rather will abstain, as they did in the previous presidential vote with Jordi Turull.
However, the proposal to make Sànchez president has been rejected by the ANC, the organisation which the candidate formerly led. The ANC supports a plan to reappoint Carles Puigdemont as president, as a better strategy to internationalize the Catalan cause.