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The decision of the Catalan MEP for the Junts party, Clara Ponsatí, to leave the exile body Council for the Republic has led to a response from Catalan president Carles Puigdemont on social media. The Junts leader made an Instagram post, which does not name Ponsatí or use her image, but clearly responds to the criticism that the former Catalan education minister made of the Council, which Puigdemont chairs.

"You, who have always set the pace, the intensity and the direction of this process: don't stop doing it now," asserts Puigdemont, before concluding the post by stating, "If there is no path, we'll build it."

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The image that accompanies the text comes from the event held last July by Òmnium Cultural in the Northern Catalonia town of Elna to commemorate its 60th anniversary, at which Puigdemont had his first meeting with ERC leader Oriol Junqueras after the latter had left Lledoners prison.

Breaking with the Council

Ponsatí announced yesterday that since December 23rd last year she had broken off her participation in the Council for the Republic because she believes that, although "it could be a useful instrument to resume the path to independence and put the mandate of the 1st October referendum into effect", it currently operates "subordinate to the dynamics" of the politics and government of Catalonia as an autonomous community.   

In a statement, the exiled minister explained that she had given up active participation in the governance of the Council, noting that her involvement "had not helped it to disengage from electoral logic or, later, from discussions on the formation and coalition of the new Catalan government."

Announcement postponed 

The eight-months-late public announcement of this decision is because the exiled minister postponed making a statement while "waiting for the Council for the Republic to enter a new stage after the elections to its Assembly of Representatives". However, these elections did not arrive: "Given the repeated delays in this electoral process, now scheduled for the end of October, I believe I have a duty to inform members of the Council and other interested parties about this situation," she concluded.

The Council for the Republic, chaired by Puigdemont and which was already strongly questioned by the ERC party earlier this year during the negotiations between ERC and Junts to form a new Catalan government, has endeavoured to avoid fanning controversy and has not responded to Ponsatí's announcement.

However, one of its members, Guillem Fuster, of the CUP-affiliate group Poble Lliure, posted a tweet that was interpreted as a response to the minister. “Days of standing out for some, and months of silent work for others,” he tweeted.

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Image of Guillem Fuster's tweet / Twitter


Main image, Carles Puigdemont and Clara Ponsatí during a press conference at the European Parliament / Efe