Action and reaction from the parties as Friday's opening of the new Catalan Parliament draws closer with little being said about the keys to the new government. After today's meeting between the three pro-independence parties, the left-wing CUP, in addition to criticizing the lack of specific agreements made by the two major parties, ERC and Junts, in the talks, announced that it had proposed its own deputy, Pau Juvillà, as candidate to preside over Parliament, and expressed "concern" that JxCat was continuing to demand the speakership of the House "without specifying a political proposal or names".
But although Junt has maintained a strict curtain of silence around the talks, this did not prevent it from showing its perplexity at the CUP statement released this afternoon. Junts responded with a statement of its own reiterating that it will present a candidate for the speaker's job and asking for respect for its internal validation procedures, especially given the situations affecting the key leaders of the party over the last days: the prisoners Sànchez and Turrull and the exiled Puigdemont.
The CUP's hurry-up
Earlier, the CUP expressed "concern" at the fact that Junts "continues to demand the speakership of Parliament without specifying a political proposal or names" and denounced that Puigdemont's party "is not even" willing to talk about it, "taking the situation to the limit".
For days now, the anti-capitalists have openly expressed their willingness to take on the position itself, and have even announced their offer, that of MP Pau Juvillà. However, the party also said their priority is not to occupy the chair, but rather to be able to ensure that the procedural Bureau which governs Parliament will curb hate speech and threats from the far right and at the same time ensure that the Constitutional Court does not strip the chamber of its sovereignty - if necessary, by exercising disobedience.
In other words, the CUP's move is to ensure that the speaker will act with the strength the party sees as necessary. However, its ultimate goal is to ensure that a pro-independence party takes the position and to prevent the PSC from gaining control of Parliament - which could happen in the event of a divided vote by pro-independence MPs. The problem, they say, is the deadline: less than 48 hours to go.
Carles Puigdemont's party responded that it “has the will to occupy the speakership of Parliament,” but adds that its candidate will be chosen through the party’s internal validation procedures. "For this reason, respect is requested for these validation procedures and the time they require, especially in this week when the rights of the general secretary, Jordi Sànchez, the vice-president Jordi Turrull, and the president of the party, Carles Puigdemont have been violated", states the party.
Sànchez and Turrull were yesterday told by a prisons court that their open prison regime had been suspended and they re-entered Lledoners jail last night. Meanwhile, Carles Puigdemont was stripped of his immunity as an MEP yesterday by the European Parliament.
The Junts text insists that in order to overcome the conflicts of the previous legislature, the party is committed to "laying the foundations for action and coordination between the pro-independence parties, and then entering into debating elements such as the election of the Bureau".
Speaker's job is "not negotiable"
Junts considers that the speaker's position in the House is not open to debate, that the job should rightfully go to Junts, just as in the previous legislature it went to ERC. JxCat has 32 deputies in Parliament, one fewer than ERC, while the CUP have 9. In fact, sources in this party say that on Friday, when the new chamber is to be constituted, they will present their candidate to preside over the Parliament. There is speculation that the job will be for Laura Borràs.
Junts argues that, in any case, it should be ERC, presiding over the government, who should cede the CUP a key Bureau role: the first deputy speaker of Parliament (which was held by Junts in the legislature just ended).
Once the selection of the officers in the Catalan Parliament is completed, the next countdown begins: a vote on the investiture of a new president must be held by March 26th.