The spokesperson for the pro-independence Together for Catalonia (JxCat) group in the Catalan Parliament, Albert Batet, has said this Wednesday that the 34 members of the caucus favour making a new attempt to invest Carles Puigdemont as president of Catalonia in the current legislature, which would mean his substitution of current president Quim Torra.
Batet affirmed this in a comment on Twitter in response to a question on how many JxCat parliamentarians backed a return by the exiled president: "You can count on all 34 JxCat deputies, " he wrote. "As President Quim Torra said in the investiture debate, it is our objective for this legislature."
Pots comptar amb tots i totes els 34 diputats i diputades de @JuntsXCat— Albert Batet🎗 (@albertbatet) 2 de gener de 2019
Tal com va dir el President @QuimTorraiPla al debat investidura és el nostre objectiu de legislatura. #Nosurrender https://t.co/kxv0PsM4Mc
Batet was referring to Torra's speech to Parliament on May 12th, 2018, when he stated that the president of Catalonia should be Puigdemont and not him, and days later he set the "restoration" of the president as one of the objectives of the current mandate, when there is an opportunity for it to occur.
Parliamentary deputy speaker, Josep Costa (JxCat), also spoke out in support of the idea, saying he had "no doubt that the whole group thinks the same" and that's why they are called "the president's list" - as the JxCat was referred to during the campaign for the election of 21st December, 2017:
Neus, no tenc cap dubte que podrem comptar amb tot el grup de @JuntsXCat, que per això som la llista del president.— Josep Costa🎗 (@josepcosta) 2 de gener de 2019
The debate on the future investiture of Puigdemont returned to the popular imagination after the exiled president himself made a statement on social media last week: "If Parliament invests me, I will take office and I will return to Catalonia".
Si el parlament m’investeix, jo prendré possessió del càrrec i tornaré a Catalunya. Entraré a Catalunya com a president de la Generalitat. Obertament. No de manera clandestina. Això seria un conflicte europeu i tornaria ben acompanyat i de demòcrates europeus perquè fossin testimonis si en l’Europa del segle XXI s’impedeix o no a un president triat per un parlament democràtic d’exercir les funcions que li corresponen legalment. #CatalanRepublic 🗳 #NoSurrender ✊ #FreeTothom 🎗
"I will enter Catalunya as its president, openly, not clandestinely. This would be a European conflict and I would return well accompanied, by European democrats who would attest to whether or not the Spanish state prevented a democratically elected president from performing his functions", he explained.
In January 2018, after the election, Carles Puigdemont was the candidate for the Catalan presidency who had the clear support of a majority in parliament, but he was unable to return to Catalonia without facing arrest and imprisonment. The frustration of the attempt to invest him as president, through the decisions of Spanish justice and the Rajoy government, ended up also generating tensions between JxCat and the other large pro-independence group ERC. After months of negotiations and several failed attempts to invest a president, with Jordi Sànchez and Jordi Turull also being candidates, Parliament finally voted for Quim Torra.