"An intense debate." That is how executive members of the Together for Catalonia (Junts) party describe the debate that the leadership held this Monday morning on the agreement to form a new government reached by its general secretary, Jordi Sànchez, and the Republican Left (ERC) candidate for the Catalan presidency, Pere Aragonès, during the weekend.
The proposal arrived at the party's leadership days after ERC's decision to break off talks had caused some voices to express dissatisfaction with the way the negotiation had been conducted. This morning's debate brought this situation to light, although Junts sources rejected the importance of these differences, attributing the situation to a normal plurality of internal opinions.
In the end, the proposed agreement was not voted on by the executive today, to make it clear that the party's support is seamless.
Elections, not on the menu
It is now up to the Junts membership to approve the agreement, and it is envisaged that they will give their opinions between tomorrow evening and Wednesday morning. Sànchez said in the press conference he gave with Aragonès today, in the gardens of Barcelona's Palau Robert, that although he considers a rejection "unlikely", the consequence in the event that it occured would be that Junts would still facilitate the investiture of Aragonès as president, without joining the government. “We are not contemplating an election scenario,” he affirmed.
The president of the Junts party, Carles Puigdemont, who last weekend issued a harsh warning to ERC after it broke off negotiations, was kept informed over the weekend of the progress in the Aragonès-Sànchez talks.
The talks between the two politicians were held on Saturday and Sunday, at an undisclosed location outside Barcelona. As soon as the talks ended on Sunday, the Junts general secretary informed Puigdemont.
This Monday, the president in exile did not participate in the party executive meeting, following the pattern of previous meetings in which this issue has been addressed, to avoid the image that he is guided the pary's decision.
The agreement with ERC does not define the strategy to be followed to drive the independence process forward, a decision which was of Junts' demands. However, for this purpose, it proposes to create a five-member space: the three pro-independence parliamentary parties and the two civil society entities, the ANC and Òmnium. The proposal, according to Sànchez, is that once the exile body Council for the Republic has been reformed, it will be accommodated in this space.