Politics 06/03/2021

ERC redoubles pressure on JxCat and CUP to form government quickly

Aragonès and Junqueras ask to park "selfish temptations" and keep the hand extended to the commons

3 min
Pere Aragonès and Oriol Junqueras at the ERC headquarters during the election night of 14-F.

This week's meetings between Esquerra, JxCat and the CUP have served to bring positions closer together, but for now there is still no closed file on the investiture negotiations. Yesterday there were bilateral meetings for hours between Esquerra and Junts; and of the cupaires with both government partners separately, but the agreement has not yet arrived - less than a week before Parliament is constituted. In this context, both the aspiring president, Pere Aragonès, and the Republican leader, Oriol Junqueras, have redoubled the pressure on JxCat and the CUP this Saturday to form a government quickly.

In a speech before the national council of the party, Aragonès has urged an agreement with "speed" and "solidity", since in his opinion neither the pandemic nor the "repression" have stopped. As he did in his thursday's speech in a party act to set the lines of the legislature that will come, he has asked for "generosity" to the rest of political formations, also to the Comunes, in order to forge a "parliamentary agreement" that leads to a new administration.

In an implicit message to Junts, which has imposed itself to reach a strategic agreement on the Catalan independence bid before talking about the distribution of posts, Aragonès has asked to address "all areas" of the negotiation, emphasising the left-wing policies that he believes should guide the next government.

Yesterday the vice-president called for the constitution of the new Parliament on March 12, the deadline for the chamber's board to be constituted. This is an indicator that the negotiations will go all the way to the end, as they are going slower than the parties believed at the beginning. In fact, the negotiation on the board itself has not even begun, despite the fact that the parties are already clear about their preferences. As advanced by the ARA , the CUP aspires to preside over the Parliament, while Junts believes that it corresponds to them, taking into account the tradition since 2015. The Junts candidate, Laura Borràs, is still meditating on what steps to take next.

Aragonès has not been the only one who has put pressure on the rest of political formations to form a government: the president of ERC, Oriol Junqueras, has also reinforced this message. In a similar speech, the former vice-president of the Government has asked to leave aside "selfish temptations" -a poisoned dart to the rest of sovereigntists- and form an administration now. He has assured that Esquerra would be "up to the task" to do so and has asked JxCat, the Comunes, and the CUP to do the same.

ERC insists on "the broad road" -this is what Aragonès has claimed again-, but it is increasingly clear that the Comunes will not be inside the government -they are opposed to sharing it with JxCat- and the cupaires have not yet made a statement on their preferences -despite the internal voices that refuse to get involved in forming government-. In this sense, the current vice president no longer only speaks of the government but emphasizes "a parliamentary agreement" that gives stability to the legislature. Since the election campaign, the Republicans have insisted on modifying the coalition formula with Junts, and that is why they keep their hand outstretched to the CUP to form a government, and also to the Comunes. However, everything suggests that the most likely outcome will be a government of ERC and JxCat with Aragonès as president.

In any case, there are still days left to find out. Next week the agreement on the Parliamentary Board has to be closed, and then the negotiation on the final investiture will begin - the presidency of the chamber will have ten days to convene the plenary to elect Aragonès -, as well as the distribution of government positions. Catalan politics will once again do its homework by exhausting all the deadlines.