The PSC and Junts are trying to attract the Left to control Parliament

On the same election night of 12-M, a new competition began in Catalonia.

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
15 May 2024 Wednesday 11:13
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The PSC and Junts are trying to attract the Left to control Parliament

On the same election night of 12-M, a new competition began in Catalonia. The socialist Salvador Illa and the post-convergent Carles Puigdemont expressed their desire to stand for the investiture, thus opening a new battle for the presidency of the Generalitat that will have a flying goal, the constitution of the Bureau of the Parliament.

With the numbers in hand, the PSC and Junts have more or less realistic options to get the presidency of the Catalan Chamber, which is very relevant to the outcome of the investiture, but the most likely ones need the ERC contest , which is why the two parties will try to seduce the Republicans, now mired in an internal crisis.

The presidency of the Parliament marks the beginning of the legislature and has a decisive attribution for the struggle between Junts and the PSC: the designation of the candidate for the investiture. The appointive role exercised by the King after the general elections in Catalonia is held by the President of the Chamber, the second authority in Catalonia, but while the Head of State acts with neutrality, in the Catalan regime the political color becomes relevant of the President of the Parliament.

The PSC is looking for a left-wing agreement with ERC and communes to invest in Illa. They insist that it is the "natural" formula that adds up to an absolute majority and would allow them to control the Bureau and ensure the election of the socialist leader, but Junts wants to attract ERC to wrest the presidency of Parliament and the Generalitat from the PSC. However, this maneuver would lead to an electoral repeat because it is impossible for Puigdemont to have a majority that does not include, either actively or passively, the extreme right and the PSC itself.

The Socialists are aware that it will not be easy to forge an alliance with ERC for the investiture of Salvador Illa. For almost all the variables they require their votes in favor and the crisis that has just opened in the bosom of the pro-independence party does not help.

Contacts with ERC have barely begun, so there are no negotiations yet, but the PSC is clear that they are not prepared to cede control of Parliament without having Illa's investiture on track. The PSC foresees only two alternatives: that the presidency of the Chamber be socialist or ERC if there is an understanding of the left.

The PSC does not want to let many more days pass before starting to sit down with ERC, but they will impose absolute discretion for their own interest and not to aggravate the internal crisis open to the party. In the negotiating team of the PSC, practically the same one that managed to moor the Diputació de Barcelona for the socialists, there are leaders who regularly collaborate with ERC positions at the local and supra-municipal level and the understanding even it has been good

Sources from the PSC assure that many ERC leaders with public office (in town councils, deputations, regional councils and other institutions) would give their blessing to an agreement to invest in Illa, as former leader Joan Tardà did yesterday. In addition, they believe that ERC would have more reasons to favor the left-wing agreement than the agreement with Junts.

To begin with, the scenario drawn by the results of the polls. The Parliament that will have to be constituted on June 10 at the latest has tilted to the right. Five conservative and ultra groups will compete for the role of opposition, so ERC "should choose where it wants to be", they warn the PSC. The political cycle in Catalonia has changed after the breakup of the blocs in the process.

The electoral repetition is also not an encouraging scenario in the context in which the party of Junqueras is. There are those who believe that going back to vote would cause a greater demobilization of independence and a concentration of the vote in the PSC, Junts, the PP and in the far-right parties, but no one predicts a greater income for the republicans, who would also go at the polls without a clear candidate after the resignation of Pere Aragonès.

The composition of the Bureau will depend on the pacts that unsettle the presidency of the Chamber. In principle, four groups have the power to be in the parliamentary control body: the PSC, Junts, ERC and the PP. The socialists insist that everything will depend on the alliances, but they recognize that the PP has the right to a seat, something that would marry with Illa's will to "launch Catalonia without sides or blocs", as he points out in the letter sent to militancy these days.

Puigdemont plans to reveal today the strategy to follow to achieve the investiture. Junts' plan is to attract ERC towards a renewed pro-independence unity, as the former president claimed on the same election night. It would mean rebuilding the bridges in the midst of an internal crisis, in full competition for the European elections and with the backpack of misgivings about the breakdown of the Aragonese Government.

For now, Republicans are only thinking about how to get out of their own impasse.