Today I was intending to talk about the happiness and tranquility which Spain's PSOE is experiencing in its first election victory after quite a number of defeats, and how the blood-letting has begun at the PP in a haemorrhage that doesn't look like stopping at the multiple elections (municipal, autonomous and European) set for May 26th. Also about the new concept which Socialist strategists are working on as a way of stretching out the PSOE's hold on power for four years: the investiture majority. Not a government majority, just support that will allow the swearing-in of the government. The correlation of forces in the Congress of Deputies removes any risk that Pedro Sánchez could be expelled as Mariano Rajoy was, through a no-confidence motion, and for this reason the first priority of the PSOE is to build a majority that will allow the prime minister to be voted in by parliament, and after that, they'll see. I also wanted to give a few details about the historic victory of the Republican Left (ERC) in Catalonia, which can probably be said to have almost completely replaced the extinct centre-right Convergencia in each and every one of the Catalan municipalities, counties and provinces. Catalans have voted for order and solidity and Oriol Junqueras and his political group have clearly emerged as winners in this equation.
But the abuse and the arbitrariness practiced by Spain's Central Electoral Commission in excluding Carles Puigdemont, Toni Comín and Clara Ponsatí from the EU parliamentary election candidature of the "Free for Europe (Together)" coalition has shifted the post-election news focus. It is an unheard-of decision, with no precedents and no legal basis. It should already be a cause for concern that a ruling by the Electoral Commission, which in general makes unanimous decisions, has a dissenting minority vote that includes the commission president, the vice president and two other members. It must be said with total clarity: there is no juridical basis behind the Commission's decision, but rather ill will against certain candidates, and for that reason there is no justification for it found either in laws or in the constitutional order.
It is very likely that, after the results achieved by Catalan independence in last Sunday's election, the Spanish state was nervous about a double candidature of Puigdemont and Junqueras in Europe. A Junqueras euphoric after the excellent outcome at the Spanish general election and a Puigdemont keen to become a parliamentarian in Brussels and thus an asset for the independence movement in the EU chamber, internationalizing the Catalan process. But eliminating candidates by breaching the law is a very serious matter. Why, then, were they allowed to stand for election in the Catalan elections of 2017, if they were already in exile at that time? Why was the exiled Catalan culture minister, Lluís Puig, allowed to be a candidate for the Spanish Senate last Sunday? Why is Ponsatí prohibited from being a candidate in Europe and yet, on the other hand, is allowed to appear as the last name on Jordi Graupera's electoral list for the Barcelona city council? There is no possible explanation except for the decision to have been made first, and the legal argument built to measure subsequently.
From here on, we are going to see an unusual battle in both the Supreme Court and the Constitutional Court on the appeals that Puigdemont, Comín and Ponsatí are presenting and which they believe they will win. Both these matters have to be considered within seven to ten days. The appeal is going to the European court in Luxembourg as well, with the risk that, depending on the decision and if the European elections have already been held, they would in theory have to be repeated, which would be absurd. The end does not justify the means, even to put an end to Puigdemont.