Junqueras leaves the presidency of ERC, which will hold a congress in November

The post-electoral scenario is taking shape in Esquerra Republicana.

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
15 May 2024 Wednesday 11:13
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Junqueras leaves the presidency of ERC, which will hold a congress in November

The post-electoral scenario is taking shape in Esquerra Republicana. The step back announced by the acting president, Pere Aragonès, on Monday after his party's poor results in Sunday's Catalan elections will not be the only one. The president of the formation, Oriol Junqueras, will step aside - for the time being - and resign from his organic position after the European elections on June 9, although he does not rule out returning in the future, since until the the next congress will be dedicated to "a process of reflection and active listening" in order to "decide its future". In turn, the general secretary, Marta Rovira, announced in a letter that she will not aspire to revalidate her position and will leave for good.

Yesterday, the leadership of the Republicans thoroughly debated the political scenario – they have lost thirteen seats and obtained the worst result since 2010 – in an extraordinary meeting that lasted more than four hours and ended well into the night. Once concluded, the party announced that it will hold a national congress on November 30 to elect the leadership, "set the new strategy" and "think about the future of the party and the country", according to a statement issued by ERC.

Yesterday's meeting took place after Junqueras, in a letter, revealed on Tuesday, a day after Aragonès' announcement, that he intended to continue in the party's control room. His reaction opened the box of thrones in ERC and caused the summit meeting, which the leaders entered without mobile phones. It was at the headquarters of the training in Carrer Calabria in Barcelona, ​​in front of which there was media anticipation throughout the evening. Both Junqueras and President Pere Aragonès were present at the meeting, as well as other heavyweights of the party and some acting government advisers.

After taking a step back, Aragonès considered that his action had to be answered by other members of the dome, since he spoke of individual and collective responsibilities after a rested analysis of the results of the 12-M.

Rovira, as advanced by the Catalan News Agency and confirmed by this medium, has been moving in similar parameters for some time and believes that it is appropriate to open an internal process of reflection and a comprehensive renewal in the management to face the new political cycle.

Sources from the formation understand that "whatever happens, a cycle ends" with the 12-M elections and that "there needs to be a reflection and a change" in the organization. These sources also point out that it is necessary to evaluate the scenarios that open up and whether it is necessary to approach the PSC or not, with an eye on the investiture and the next legislature.

So, the general secretary of the Republicans believes that that renewal must also include Junqueras himself, to whom a sector of the party attributes the beginning of the defeat at the polls, which began in the previous electoral cycle, with the municipal ones of May last year and the generals of July. At that time, however, there was no assumption of responsibility.

This whole issue has sparked an internal debate between detractors and supporters of the party president, who in the event of a repeat election in Catalonia in the autumn is not guaranteed to be the candidate, since it is not clear that he can benefit from the amnesty if there are resources.

Rovira's reflection does not emerge suddenly after the electoral defeat, but comes from afar and is in line with what the former president of Òmnium Cultural, Jordi Cuixart, pointed out when he retired from the front line in 2022 In particular, he advocated that the leaders involve the high points of the process and 1-O make way for a new generation. With the election results, that reflection has accelerated.

In any case, the problem is that if Aragonès, Junqueras and Rovira leave, there is no clear leadership in ERC right now, and that the formation will face the European Parliament elections in June with a complex situation and a kind of power vacuum, even if Rovira and Aragonès continue at the head of the ship in an interim manner.

Be that as it may, despite the internal turbulence, ERC has something to say in the Catalan scene in the coming weeks, in which the post-electoral scenario must begin to be defined. It is in the hands of the formation to decide whether to facilitate the investiture of Salvador Illa's PSC or whether to opt for the blocking and repeat of the election, or whether to go with the complicated formula proposed by Carles Puigdemont, which requires an abstention from the socialists, which these the latter are categorically ruled out.