Life with CKD can become even more complicated

The ERC had a very easy time presiding over parliament. It could be thanks to a left-wing alliance with PSC and Comuns, or with the support of Junts and the CUP. The Socialists, who did not want to start the parliamentary term with a photo with the PP, offered the Republicans their support for the chairmanship of the ERC. The name of the government's acting vice president, Laura Vilagrà, was even circulated as the candidate with the most potential.

But Junts took advantage and mentioned the name of Joseph Rull on the table he appealed for “anti-repressive” unity, and the Republicans ultimately accepted that he was the chosen one. “We did not want to subject the decision to a red line,” ERC defended after the plenary session and emphasized that support for the Junts candidate does not presuppose the future decisions of the Republicans.

Rull's role is important from now on, because as Speaker of the House he will decide who submits to the investiture and in what order.

The different scenarios

Carles Puigdemont has already explained that he wants to become a Feijóo and present himself, even if the numbers do not allow him. Now that Rull takes the presidency of parliament, the Junts will choose whether to nominate Illa or Puigdemont first. If the shift were to start with the Socialist candidate, life for the ERC would become even more complicated, as Republicans would have to present themselves as supporting a non-independence candidate at the first opportunity. If he does not, if the ERC does not allow Illa to become president of the Generalitat, the next step would be another failed investiture, this time that of Puigdemont. And from there to an electoral repeat that only Junts desires.

It wouldn't be the only plan the post-convergents could activate to prevent Illa from becoming president, at least not now. If Rull were to introduce Puigdemont first, there would also be the possibility to play with time (despite the fact that the rules are clear) and introduce him even if he is not physically in the room, or wait until its plenary session takes place. when he could already be in the Chamber. They could even let the two months run until the deadline passed. It seems something exceptional, but almost everything has already been seen in Parliament.

The hope for the Socialists is that if Rull chose to propose Puigdemont first and then Illa, without forcing calendars or breaking regulations, time would play in the PSC's favor as the final vote will take place at the end of August. Allowing the Socialist candidate to be installed two months later might not be such a big deal in the eyes of the less pragmatic sectors of the ERC. The PSC is willing to discuss the “single funding” that Republicans are demanding to negotiate his inauguration. What is not suitable as a bargaining chip is the referendum, or at least that is what the socialists have conveyed both publicly and privately.

For ERC, the dilemma is that of day one: Illa or elections. But the path until the final decision has to be made could be more or less grueling and that now depends on the Junts.

The balance in the Republican ranks

The vote of the parliamentary council has come very quickly for the ERC, a party that is still eliminated and which on Monday started accepting the announced dismissal of Oriol Junqueras, who will now take the car to pressure the support of the militant group and will try to regain the position at the extraordinary congress that the formation will hold in November. Whatever ERC decides this week, it will no longer be Junqueras' responsibility. Marta Rovira has the final say and whoever it is will be subject to scrutiny by the party's militants.

In the Republican ranks they are aware that once the amnesty bill is published in the BOE, the judges will be the ones who will decide the times. Puigdemont's return would be subject to approval by the Supreme Court, as it remains to be seen whether Judge Pablo Llarena will lift the former president's arrest warrant as quickly as the law envisions. The Supreme Court prosecutors who intervened in the trial process informed the Attorney General, Álvaro García Ortiz, that they believe that this arrest warrant should remain in force, because they interpret that it is not appropriate to apply the amnesty to the crime of embezzlement.

Puigdemont has promised to come to the first investiture session scheduled for the last week of June. ERC fears that the Junts leader's pro-independence ascendancy will be increased if he is ultimately arrested or ordered imprisoned. Could the ERC vote for Salvador Illa as president of the Generalitat, while Puigdemont is before the Spanish courts? It's not a rhetorical question. It's a doubt that exists among some Republican leaders.

If Rull were to choose to nominate Puigdemont first and then Illa, time would be in the PSC's favor as the final vote will take place at the end of August. By then, when the Republicans had already supported the leader of the Junts at the end of June, knowing that he did not have enough votes to be elected, it might not be as big a path in the fight as the Socialist candidate two months later would be inaugurated. the eyes of the less pragmatic sectors of ERC.

Puigdemont's plans and the bear hug

If Puigdemont keeps his promise to return to Catalonia, at the risk of being arrested, and even if he does not manage to be sworn in (because the numbers have not allowed him to do so), he will try to take on the role of ERC to take. even vaguer in new elections. Either because they allowed Illa to become president, or because in the name of independence unity the proposal for a unitary list was reclaimed, something that ERC flees every time it listens to that music. It's probably one of the few things Republicans have been clear about for a long time.

Repeat elections?

It should not be ruled out. The PSC has won five consecutive election victories. The last one was this Sunday. On the other hand, the independence movement continues to decline, as evidenced by the European elections. On 9J they lost almost a million votes.

New elections pose a risk to the majority. It is likely that the xenophobic Aliança per Catalunya, which was about to gain two more deputies, would achieve a better result. The abstention, which mainly punished the pro-independence parties, could now also have consequences for the PSC. Also the Comuns, essential to consolidate a majority for Illa, continue to lose their support. And the ERC is clear that the one thing it does not need are new elections.

Only Junts has nothing to lose because it would be a new opportunity for Puigdemont. And that's what he'll play from now on.

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