The negotiation for the investiture will be a long and tortuous road

After Sunday's results in Catalonia which gave victory to Salvador Illa's PSC, some of the unknowns that hung over these elections have been clarified.

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
14 May 2024 Tuesday 05:55
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The negotiation for the investiture will be a long and tortuous road

After Sunday's results in Catalonia which gave victory to Salvador Illa's PSC, some of the unknowns that hung over these elections have been clarified. Catalonia has made a turn, with which it leaves the process behind, but it still needs to be decided who will hold the presidency of the Generalitat in the next legislature. Illa is the one who currently has the most options, but he will not have an expedited path to achieve it. The decision will depend on the future strategies and alliances that are proposed between the parties to form a government. Negotiations in the sports of a new electoral campaign, that of the European ones on 9 June.

The contest begins next week, on May 24, and the parties already assume that in this scenario of the electoral race it will be difficult to establish any dialogue to face the investiture negotiations. In any case, it is expected that negotiations can begin once the elections are over, with an eye on June 25, the day the first deadline for the investiture debate expires.

At the moment, the parties are waiting for the results. Some have a better stage than others. Illa did not make any public statements yesterday, Puigdemont closed his headquarters in Algiers yesterday and is not expected to make any appearances this week and ERC is given days to analyze the poor results obtained, but they have already started more than significant moves to undertake a leadership renewal process.

The president and Republican candidate, Pere Aragonès, took a step forward yesterday, in solitude, to take responsibility for the defeat his party has suffered. Aragonès will not collect the minutes and will leave "active politics". The loss of 13 deputies will not be easy to assume for this party, which leaves open the leadership, shared until now with Oriol Junqueras and Marta Rovira. In the coming weeks, the renewal process will be announced after the disastrous results.

The republicans will have to analyze why they have not been able to profit from the weak management in the Generalitat and the effects, as some cadres of the party point out, that having become a crutch of the PSOE in Madrid has had among its electorate.

The perception that Puigdemont has benefited more from the dialogue with the president of the central government, Pedro Sánchez, than they have gone beyond ERC. For this reason, the temptation to strengthen his position in Congress and also in Catalonia is one of the possibilities on the table, and some sources even point to a likely repeat election.

Aragonès assured yesterday that the formation of the Government is in the hands of the two most voted candidates: Illa and Puigdemont. The President of the Government removed the pressure and affirmed again, as on Sunday night, that his party will go to the opposition, so that no formation is currently guaranteed an investiture.

Despite this, Puigdemont has no plans to throw in the towel and yesterday showed an interest in opting for the investiture because he considers that he has "options" to count on enough parliamentary support. The intention is to achieve this with the votes of ERC and the CUP and to be invested "in the second round". A plan that requires the most voted list, the PSC, to abstain in order for the ex-president to reach the Government.

Puigdemont has entrusted everything to these Catalan elections and to return to Catalonia to "restore the institution of the presidency of the Generalitat". He is very eager to return and has announced that he will return for the investiture debate. Returning as leader of the opposition is not the same as running as a candidate, even if his support and sums are not completely confirmed. The future of Puigdemont, if he does not reach the presidency, is an unknown since, despite the fact that he assured that he would retire, he has not expressed himself in these same terms again.

In any case, the presidency of the Parliament, which will be established on June 10, one day after the European elections, will have to decide the candidate for the investiture.

Illa, on the other hand, needs the competition of ERC and the communes to reach the Generalitat. The Socialists rule out that there could be a deadlock situation leading to an electoral repeat. For this reason, they demand responsibility from the Republicans and an exercise of reciprocity. The spokeswoman for the PSC, Núria, recalled yesterday that the PSC has practiced constant dialogue with the Republicans in Parliament this legislature, in which ERC governed with 33 deputies. He also recommended to Puigdemont to assume "the principle of reality" following the announcement of wanting to opt for the investiture.

With the results of the Catalan elections in hand, Ferraz and Génova are already facing the road to the European elections. The socialists say that Illa has a free hand to agree and that "the president of Catalonia decides for Catalonia". They consider that the results of the PSC ratify the pardons and the Amnesty law, which will be vetoed in the Senate today and will have free rein to be definitively approved at the end of the month in Congress.

Meanwhile, the populists, who have increased their seats fivefold, say that with these results the PP of Catalonia "is once again fundamental in the national project to be able to reach Moncloa".