The leadership of the Together for Catalonia (Junts) party has sent a message to the party's organization and membership base in which it guarantees that the votes of its parliamentary group will not serve "to facilitate a new Catalan government which is not pro-independence". The message says that it maintains its commitment to a legislative agreement with ERC and guarantees that "the final position of Junts will be decided by the membership."
The party led by Catalan president in exile Carles Puigdemont reiterates that it has not left the table and continues to negotiate, and calls on its partner, the Republican Left (ERC) to resume talks, arguing that "if ERC still defends a pro-independence government, there are no excuses to end the talks to make a pact for the legislature".
The internal message, sent via WhatsApp, reflects, according to sources in the party hierarchy, the current positioning of the party, after ERC announced on Saturday that it had accepted that the negotiation for a new government with Junts was over. Today, after saying that it will not seek any coalition deal until after the investiture vote, ERC has sounded out left-wing En Comú Podem, which does not favour independence, for its support in the vote in which it also requires the votes of Junts.
An agreement for the legislature
The Whatsapp text reiterates that Junts is committed to a agreement for the legislature with the other pro-independence parties, and that "only with a three-party agreement (ERC-CUP-Junts) can the majority of 52% of votes and 74 pro-independence deputies be preserved. "This is not tactical, but a mandate from the ballot box," it reads.
As well, it guarantees that negotiations will not be made public - as the party's secretary general, Jordi Sànchez, stated on Saturday - when he said that a deal with ERC was very close and that his party had not asked that the new government should accept "guidance"; the text reiterates that the talks have been based on the reality that the ERC finished ahead in the election, with one MP more than Junts; and affirms that they allowed the Republicans to set the pace in talks, with no deadlines or ultimatums. "ERC and Junts are obliged to reach an understanding," he said.
Guidance "from the Spanish state"
In relation to ERC's claim that Junts wants the new executive to have "guidance" from the body led by the exiled Catalan politicians, the Council for the Republic, Junts assures in the internal communiqué that it has never proposed this and asserts that, on the contrary, the body "which gives guidance to the Catalan government and has been doing so for 3 years is the Spanish state".
"We cannot understand that ERC gave more than 480 days of margin to the PSOE government (without obtaining any good results for Catalonia) and only 80 days to Junts to negotiate a strong government that responds to the mandate from the polls," it adds.
The text reiterates that the best option for the future of Catalonia is a strong government, which represents the 52% pro-independence vote from the February 14th elections, so that it can act in a coordinated manner in Madrid and Europe and in order to "make progress in the only real option that guarantees future well-being and prosperity for Catalans: independence". "We can't wait 20 years," the text reads, implicitly referring to an article published this weekend by ERC president Oriol Junqueras.