Catalonia will vote for its government on February 14, with the shadow of almost three and a half years of legal proceedings since the failed independence of the region was proclaimed. And separatism continues as the protagonist. The Superior Court of Justice of Catalonia (TSJC) confirmed the date of the elections after the local government had filed an appeal – which was denied – to postpone them until May 30 due to the coronavirus.
This Friday, then, the first steps of a campaign were taken that once again constitute a pulse between the Government of Pedro Sánchez and the independentists.
It also coincides with the departure of political prisoners —those who entered prison for having promoted the illegal process of independence—, who obtain the third degree: they can spend the day outside of prison and must spend the night in it. They have already announced that they will participate in the campaign and from the moment they left they expressed their interest in continuing the separatist struggle. Several of them posed with a sign asking for amnesty.
The local government of Catalonia is in an unstable situation since the Supreme Court of Justice disqualified President Quim Torra in September 2020 for having disobeyed the orders of the Central Electoral Board to remove the pro-independence banners and symbols from the government headquarters during the electoral period of April of last year.
Now Pere Aragones governs, as acting president. He has been one of those who with the greatest insistence has asked for the postponement of the elections, because, in his words, holding the elections on February 14 can affect the level of participation” of the five and a half million Catalans called to vote.
Sin embargo, el TSJC considero que se pueden celebrar las elecciones con garantías y que plaza las produciría un periodo prolongado de provisional dead.The Spanish Socialist Workers Party (PSOE), led by President Sanchez, sent its strong card to the contest Salvador Illa, the Minister of Health who has handled the virus in the country.
He resigned from the portfolio to present himself as a socialist candidate to head the Government. In a debate organized on Friday morning by the Catalan newspaper La Vanguardia, he was the target of criticism from the other candidates, who reproached him for what they considered disastrous management of the pandemic. Also, being a key member of the central government, they blamed him for the lack of resources that Catalonia suffers.
The latest polls do not show a possible change of scenery. The division continues, almost by halves, of the independentists and those who want Catalonia to remain part of Spain. And the slight advantage of the former continues, which has kept them in local government in recent years. The independence movement would add 51.2% of the votes, according to the Center for Opinion Studies: it would achieve between 70 and 77 deputies, a figure higher than the 68 marked by the absolute majority. The coalition of Junts per Catalunya and Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya (ERC) would govern again.
Carles Puigdemont, the president who proclaimed independence and fled to Belgium, leads the first, but the “presidential candidate” would be Laura Borrás, since he cannot set foot in the country. According to the polls, ERC would obtain between 34 and 35 seats; Junts per Catalunya, his partner, between 32 and 34; and the Catalan Socialist Party, with Illa at the head, would rise from 17 to 26 or 29.