Borràs and Turull join forces to lead JxCat
De Dalmases, Madaula, Rius and Erra will run for vice-presidencies, and Economy minister Giró enters the executive
BarcelonaFormer Catalan minister Jordi Turull and Parliament Speaker Laura Borràs will present a joint candidacy at the Together for Catalonia (JxCat) party congress on June 4 in Argelers (Catalunya Nord). Both have appeared this Tuesday at noon to present their candidacy: Laura Borràs will run for party president and Jordi Turull for secretary general. Yesterday morning they reached an agreement to share power in the party leadership: the statutes will be changed so the president has more powers –it was one of Borràs's conditions to accept the position and not run for secretary general– and other leadership posts have also been agreed. "We are the fathers and sons of October 1st [2017 Independence Referendum]", Turull proclaimed during the press conference to present the candidacy, and Borràs has described it as a "very good agreement" and an "opportunity".
The candidacy for the presidency is presented with four vice-presidencies, while the position of secretary general is accompanied by twenty more people. In each case, the names have been divided 50/50 between the two camps. There will be two new vice-presidents in Francesc de Dalmases and Aurora Madaula –proposed by Borràs- and Josep Rius and Anna Erra will soon follow suit. At the party's secretariat, David Saldoni will be relieved by Badalona councillor David Torrents, close to Borràs. Teresa Pallarès will continue as party finance secretary.
The executive will be joined by Economy minister Jaume Giró. Ministers Gemma Geis and Violant Cervera; MPs Míriam Nogueras, Joan Canadell, Cristina Casol, Jaume Alonso Cuevillas, Jordi Fàbrega, Mònica Sales, Marta Madrenas, David Saldoni, Ester Vallès, Salvador Vergés and Glòria Freixa, and also former ministers Miquel Samper and Damià Calvet also hope to become join the executive, alongside Barcelona county delegates Toni Morral, Aleix Sarri, Montserrat Caupena and Montserrat Girbau. On the other hand, Junts parliamentary group leader and Puigdemont ally Albert Batet has been left out of the executive, but could become an ex officio member, as could vice-president Jordi Puigneró and all other Catalan government ministers.
Turull aspired to become secretary general and Borràs, regardless of what position he held, wanted control over the party. That is to say, she would become president as long as she could place her allies in other key leadership positions and she was given broader powers as president. Both Turull and Borràs have wanted to downplay the importance of the negotiation, claiming finding names they could agree on was "easy". They also gave little detail as to how their roles as president and secretary general would differ in practice.
Turull and Borràs represent different souls inside JxCat, intrinsic to the party and at the same time a source of conflict. Turull is supported by a majority of former Convergència officials and Government bigwigs (who are often more pragmatic than Turull himself). He is also supported by former Catalan minister Josep Rull's allies, such as Damià Calvet, hitherto secretary general Jordi Sànchez and parliamentary group leader Albert Batet. On the other hand, Borràs is supported MPs Francesc de Dalmases, Jaume Alonso Cuevillas and Aurora Madaula, while she also enjoys broad grassroot support.
In recent hours the Borràs-Turull tandem has attempted a synthesis of sensitivities to be able to present a shared proposal, but it escapes no one that sooner or later they will have to decide what course they want JxCat to follow. And, above all, what they plan to do in the face of the most immediate challenges. This includes deciding on whether to pursue the coalition government with ERC or how to retaliate should ERC choose to suspend Laura Borràs if she is indicted over corruption accusations relating to her time in charge of the Institució de les Lletres Catalanes (Institution of Catalan Letters). At the moment, these two questions have different answers depending on which camp is asked. When asked about specific policies, Turull and Borràs have stated that they have agreed on a "compass" but not a "calculator", and that it will be in the coming days when they will be giving more specifics. "We want to listen", they concluded.