Politics 13/05/2021

En Comú Podem breaks negotiations with ERC until it commits to not let Junts enter Government

Aragonès keeps all possibilities open to avoid elections

2 min

BarcelonaWith less than fifteen days before repeat elections are called on May 26th, the negotiations to make Pere Aragonès president are getting even more complicated. The leader of En Comú Podem, Jèssica Albiach, has announced this morning in Parliament that it was breaking negotiations with Republican Left of Catalonia (ERC) until they commit to keeping Together for Catalonia (JxCAT) out of their future Government. "You must choose," Albiach told the vice-president, who has asked En Comú to remain in the negotiations to explore "all possibilities" and avoid elections.

Albiach believes the way forward is a three-way coalition between En Comú, ERC and the Catalan Socialists' Party (PSC). "You must decide whether you want to be a true president or be supervised, whether you want to shield public services or for JxCat to take over health and education [...]. You must decide whether or not you want the negotiating table [with the Spanish government]," said Albiach in her dialogue with Aragonès.

Aragonès has avoided committing himself to En Comú's request, since ERC maintains that it wants to a solo minority government, but also leaving the door open for JxCat, CUP or En Comú Podem to enter government later on. "The arithmetic is what it is, from here we have to generate consensus", has said the presidential hopeful.

En Comú's announcementcomes just one day after the joint photograph of the three pro-independence parties, after a summit that served to agree on a very generic joint statement and lay the groundwork for redirecting the situation. In the common document, of only four points, they pledged to find a way out of the crisis, to defend fundamental rights, to forge a national agreement on the right to self-determination - without further details - and to achieve a space to discuss the pro-independence strategy "beyond governability" (without specifying whether inside or outside the Consell per la República). In any case, the main obstacles remain: ERC maintains the need to form an executive on its own and, on the contrary, JxCat calls for a coalition government

Although En Comú have referred to the negotiation and so has Aragonès, the president of the JxCat parliamentary group, Albert Batet, has avoided it in his intervention. Carles Puigdemont's party has asked the vice president about the vaccination plan and has requested an audit on the management of the pandemic. It has been the leader of ERC who, in response, has urged him to break the deadlock and accelerate the investiture. "We have to put an end to the interim government and get out of this situation," he said.

The Parliament celebrates this Wednesday the plenary with an eye on the deadlock in negotiations on the investiture. In the morning, the acting government has been subjected to questions from the opposition and, in the afternoon, Pere Aragonès, as acting vice president, will appear before the chamber to account for how the Generalitat is managing the pandemic.

All this with thirteen days to go before the deadline to make the investiture and with the spectre of the electoral repetition very present.