JxCat removes Cuevillas from the Parliamentary Bureau and proposes Aurora Madaula to replace him

The lawyer said Friday that he is not in favour of symbolic resolutions that lead to disqualifications: "Immolation has to be done if it is effective".

3 min
Jaume Alonso-Cuevillas and Laura Borràs

JxCat has removed Jaume Alonso-Cuevillas from the Parliamentary Bureau and will propose Aurora Madaula as the new second secretary to replace the lawyer. Cuevillas put his position at the disposal of the president of the chamber, Laura Borràs, last night, and the proposal has been assessed by the secretary general of JxCat, Jordi Sànchez, the president of the party, Carles Puigdemont, and Borràs herself. It has also been decided who they want to occupy the position of Cuevillas: Aurora Madaula, MP of Junts, a bet of Borràs, according to sources of the formation. These decisions, however, still have to be approved by the party executive and Madaula will have to undergo a vote in the chamber to be chosen. For her election, the votes of ERC will be key.

The dismissal of Cuevillas is a direct consequence of the statements that the lawyer made on Friday in an interview in VilaWeb. He stated that he is not in favour of processing symbolic motions for resolutions such as those approved by the Parliament on the king and self-determination, which have led to the pro-independence members of the committee led by Roger Torrent now being in the hands of the High Court of Justice of Catalonia (TSJC). Cuevillas, a lawyer by profession, said that processing them at the risk of being disqualified is not "intelligent confrontation", but the contrary: "It is trying to resist in a testosteronic way, like a legionnaire who sees that they are shooting but who goes forward with his chest uncovered". "What is more effective in wearing down the Spanish state: to denounce this or to let us be disqualified for an outrageous act?".

According to Junts sources, it was Cuevillas himself who, after seeing the controversy that his statements had created, put his post at the party's disposal. The leadership of JxCat, which was already upset by the statements, has decided to remove him from the Bureau because, according to party sources, they defend the sovereignty of the Parliament above all else and cannot contradict their intentions or have people who question their approaches. Junts' aspiration, and this is what Borràs verbalised the day she was appointed president, is to stop all "external interference" and accept the proposals, even if there is a risk of disqualification, if this preserves the sovereignty of the chamber and the freedom of expression of MPs.

Cuevillas has been removed despite the fact that in the same letter where he made the position available, and which has been published on his Twitter account, he has taken back some of his words ensuring that it was "imprudent" to use the word "outrageous". In this sense, he reiterated that he has not renounced nor will he "never" defend "the fundamental rights of citizens or democratic principles". He specifies, however, that "as a lawyer with a strategic mentality" he is in favour of "facing every battle strategically" and that sometimes "it may be more convenient to disobey, and assume the consequences, or avoid the suicidal clash and trying to take advantage of the anti-democratic and demophobic attitude of the organs of the State". "In the face of each attack, act in the way that most favours our final objective", he added. Cuevillas defends, for example, that the risk of disqualification comes after a decision that has entailed "some political benefit", such as "investing a president despite the prohibition of the TC" -a fact that Roger Torrent did not do with the investiture of Carles Puigdemont-. At the end of the letter, the lawyer places his position at Borràs' disposal. 

Cuevillas' statements clashed head-on with Borràs' aspirations. The president of the chamber thus saw how her maximum ally at the Bureau-he was the person from Junts she chose to accompany her at the Bureau- threw a bucket of cold water on top of what she had promised. Borràs, however, did not react to these statements. Instead, they were criticised by the former first vice president of the table, Josep Costa, also a member of JxCat. In a publication in his Twitter account, Costa said that defending the sovereignty of the chamber "is not outrageous". "If someone cannot or does not want to take this risk, they should not have to be at the Bureau" he said, referencing Cuevillas.

New vote at the table

The candidate to replace Cuevillas is Aurora Madaula, a Junts MP and member of the leadership of the Consell per la República. According to party sources, this was Borràs' personal choice. Madaula, as a member of the leadership of the Waterloo-based body, is also close to Puigdemont. Madaula, however, is not yet assured of a place at the Bureau, as the second secretariat will have to be voted on again. Each party will therefore be able to propose a candidate and the one with the most support will end up being chosen. ERC, therefore, has a key role to play, since without the support of the Republicans Junts is not assured of victory in the vote: if the PSC presents a candidate, its votes already exceed those of Junts. It remains to be seen how ERC positions itself after two failed investitures of Pere Aragonès due to Junts' abstention.