ERC is divided and discarded to form a new government

"The PSC and Junts have won".

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
12 May 2024 Sunday 17:35
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ERC is divided and discarded to form a new government

"The PSC and Junts have won". Pere Aragonès appeared to acknowledge bluntly that these are "very bad results", in the words of the Generalitat president himself. The ERC candidate regretted that the work of his Government has not been valued by the electorate. Nor is Esquerra's bid to put an end to "repression" and pave the way, he said, towards self-determination.

For Aragonès, in addition, there is no possibility that ERC will even form a new tripartite government with PSC and the commons. "It is up to the PSC and Junts to manage the new stage", he remarked, closing the door on any pact to remain in the Generalitat. "At ERC we will work to continue with our political project and we will be in the opposition", he said, in case there were any doubts.

The ERC candidate has only confirmed what spokeswoman Raquel Sans predicted 17 minutes after the polls were made public and with 0.01% counted. He predicted that things would go badly and assumed that ERC must rethink everything. "Open a reflection", he said. to renew Strategically and organizationally, and who knows if also in terms of leadership. Aragonès gave a hint shortly after his appearance before journalists: "Individual responsibilities must be assumed".

The bad omen of Sans was confirmed: 20 seats against the 33 achieved in 2021; just over 420,000 votes compared to 603,000 three years ago. Talking about undoing is an understatement. The worst result since 2010, when he got ten deputies. Falling to third place is a failure for ERC, because the decline punishes where it hurts the most in a political party: suspension in the management at the head of a government. In addition, it leaves him with no option to repeat as head of the Generalitat.

But at the same time, being third – they are overall and in the four Catalan demarcations – would have been a kind of consolation prize in the event that they had yielded five or six deputies at all costs. However, with thirteen deputies less, the diagnosis is quite different. Despite what A ragonès has said, the sum of the PSC, ERC and the commons gives an absolute majority and ERC remains key. But the Republicans recognized that their mind is more for the task of undertaking an internal reflection than of considering pacts. What's more, being a key piece for the formation of a tripartite with the PSC and the commons does nothing but hinder this process of reflection to which it is thrown. "Managing the internal rethinking along with the internal and external pressure to form a new tripartite will be tough", admitted Esquerra.

If they had obtained more, it would have been erected as a key to facilitate the investiture of president, for example, of Salvador Illa. Dropping out for a new government would most likely not be the preferred option internally. They could even remain in the Government, where they have been uninterrupted since January 2016. Pere Aragonès could also have considered investing Carles Puigdemont, but the sum of Junts, ERC and the CUP is far from the majority.

The executive meets on Monday morning. The first cold thoughts will arise. The republicans had always avoided during the campaign to knock on the door of the PSC or Junts, in the mouth of Aragonès himself. The president had repeatedly assured that he would agree with whoever comes to work to establish the basis of a self-determination referendum, to claim its own funding for Catalonia and to strengthen the welfare state and the Catalan language. But the uncertainty at ERC is at its peak today and everything that has been said is now burning with shavings.

It had been known for weeks that the party would not take place at Barcelona's Nord station, where ERC and Pere Aragonès were installed to follow the count. The left loses voters in every contest. The bleeding began in the municipal elections of May 2023. The Republicans then lost 300,000 votes compared to those of 2021. History repeated itself two months later, in July. More crudely even: ERC lost along the way 400,000 voters in the generals compared to the 2019 elections.