ERC awaits Rovira's decision after Junqueras runs to continue leading the party

There will be a change of leadership in Esquerra, but perhaps not all of them.

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
14 May 2024 Tuesday 04:22
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ERC awaits Rovira's decision after Junqueras runs to continue leading the party

There will be a change of leadership in Esquerra, but perhaps not all of them. Oriol Junqueras has written to the militancy and citizens to apply to continue leading the party. A step that goes in a different direction than that of Pere Aragonès, who on Monday made public a decision he had made the day before: abandon the political front line and resign from the seat, but remain as national coordinator to help in the reorganization of ERC. only until the replacements occur.

The decision of the president of ERC also comes after, in the middle of the election night, Aragonès demanded that the party assume “individual” but also “collective” responsibilities. Going on May 12 from 33 to 20 seats in the Parliament gave him more than enough reason to claim these responsibilities. Now the party is at the expense of the decision that its general secretary, Marta Rovira, may make.

“I see myself with the courage and strength to continue working for our country. And do it, as always, from the place determined by ERC militancy, through the highest sovereign bodies of the party that correspond,” Junqueras writes. With these words he shows his willingness to be validated by the bases to continue leading, but at the same time he implies that the entire process will culminate with a national congress that the party plans for autumn at the earliest. There is time for more candidates to lead the ERC project to apply.

Junqueras assumes that it is necessary to open "a new stage" and consider "what has not gone well." But he also points out that "it is up to other protagonists to take the steps they consider appropriate to guarantee the stability and governability of the country." A statement with which the ERC leader tries, like Aragonès, to remove all the pressure on Esquerra regarding the calls to ally the PSC and Junts so that either Salvador Illa or Carles Puigdemont is invested. The Republicans want to make it clear that if there is a repeat election it will not have been their fault.

The president of ERC also emphasizes that now his party will be “the opposition at the service of the country.” “From today, we establish ourselves as the alternative, firm and demanding, against those who want Catalonia to be the seventeenth autonomous community that is told what to do,” he underlines in the letter.

There is also self-criticism in the text: “The citizens have given us a clear message. "He has not trusted us, or our proposals, or our way of doing things or explaining ourselves." “We have understood the message,” she says immediately afterwards, but without making any reference to the questioning of leadership.

The internal debate in the training will be long. By moving away, Aragonès tried to scare away the rumor of a possible uncontrolled implosion in his party. In addition, he frees ERC in view of the European elections on June 9 and allows the Republicans time to start the engines of the entire renewal process until long after the elections, possibly until October or November.

Junqueras wants to continue leading, but also seeks to be a candidate in the next Catalan elections. They come when they come, except in the event of a repeat election, since most likely, despite approval in Congress, the amnesty will not be effective yet. It must be taken into account that Junqueras, since he was appointed president of ERC in 2011, has only effectively run for the presidency of the Generalitat in the 2012 elections. Also in 2017, but while in prison and without options to be named. Neither in the 2015, 2021 nor in the 2024 elections has he appeared as presidential candidate.

Today, it is unknown what support the ERC militancy can give to Junqueras. The results of last Sunday's elections – third and far behind the PSC and Junts – do not work in his favor, despite not being listed as a candidate. He also does not agree that his name continues to be present with an alleged shake-up in the game.

Oriol Junqueras and Pere Aragonès have already spoken. It remains to be seen what Marta Rovira, general secretary of the party, will do. In the party they point out that her decision could be closer to that made by the president of the Generalitat.

If Rovira leaves, it would put an end to a tandem that has lasted since 2011. In any case, in the letter Junqueras has words of praise for Aragonès – “he is honored by his gesture of leaving the first political line” – but once this step, the president of the party encourages his parish to recover from the electoral setback and demands that “in these next European elections the militancy takes a step forward, a step of self-love, a step to defend the future of Catalonia in Europe. To defend our peasantry, who risk everything in Europe, to fight against climate change and strengthen the people within the European federal framework in the face of outdated nation states.”