Politics 24/01/2021

JxCat looks for confrontation with Illa and avoids criticizing ERC: "He is one of the worst ministers in Europe"

They present their 14-F candidacy with an appeal to fight against abstention

3 min
JxCat's candidates for the elections to the Parliament Laura Borràs and Carles Puigdemont
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BarcelonaThe electoral pre-campaign in Catalonia is intensifying and the parties are gradually starting to show what script they will recite to get the maximum votes possible. This Sunday JxCat has presented their candidacy to the elections, and they have let everyone know that it will be a campaign in which they will seek a confrontation with the PSC and, especially, with its candidate, the -still- Minister of Health Salvador Illa. The criticism against the socialist candidate has been constant: "He is one of the worst health ministers in the European Union", Carles Puigdemont proclaimed. However, JxCat has avoided the reprimands towards their partner in the Government, ERC, in spite of the fact that they have lived through the legislature with very complicated moments. On Sunday there was some opaque critical allusions to Oriol Junqueras' party, but little else.

Junts' candidate for the elections, Laura Borràs, has also put the socialist candidate in the spotlight. The list of reprimands has been long: "The worst way to manage Europe's pandemic"; he has not resigned from his post; he has not yet said whether he would be prepared to accept Vox's votes to be invested as president, and he participated in the constitutionalist demonstration that the Sociedad Civil Catalana organised in October 2017 against the Catalan independence bid. In fact, Junts and ERC are trying to apply the same tactic, which is to polarize the pre-campaign -and also the future campaign- between the PSC and them as much as possible. "Either she -Laura Borràs- or Illa", Puigdemont summarised. Thus, the two governmental partners seek to present themselves as the antithesis of the PSC and compete to see who is more different. Today Junts has also sought to link the decision of the High Court (TSJC) against the postponement of the elections as "a state operation" to benefit the socialist candidate.

Despite JxCat criticizes that the elections will most probably be held on February 14th, this Sunday it became clear that Carles Puigdemont's party will use the role that the High Court of Justice has played as a weapon to try to mobilize the sovereignty vote as much as possible. Therefore, Borràs regretted that the court has once again left Catalans with "maximum legal defenselessness" and that the best medicine in the face of this fact is a "permanent electoral mobilisation" to "guarantee a victory for the independence movement at the ballot boxes". "It is not an easy campaign and it will have to be won vote by vote", she concluded.

If Illa has been mentioned by everyone, another issue that has also been voiced on numerous occasions has been the call for participation. The first to do so was the party's general secretary, Jordi Sànchez, who, to the surprise of the media at least, attended the meeting in person, a rare occurrence given that he is still serving his sentence in the prison of Lledoners. Sànchez has also placed emphasis on mobilising every vote for the independence movement since, according to him, the main "enemy" of JxCat on elections day will be "abstention".

Puigdemont and exile

The former president of the Generalitat and now an MEP has sought to poke in the wound that has opened up between Podemos and the PSOE after the leader of the former, Pablo Iglesias, considered Puigdemont to be a downright exile, comparable to the Republicans of Franco's dictatorship, words that outraged the Socialists. The MEP argued that his current exile is one of the great assets of the Procés: "The exile bothers them [the PSOE] because they don't control it, and we make them feel ashamed. We are not in their hands".

Therefore, on Sunday we have heard about Salvador Isla, the danger of abstention, and exile, and there has been no criticism, although it has been usual in other occasions, towards governmental partners. The only criticism that could be heard, which was opaque, came from the presenters of the event - the journalist Pilar Calvo and the actor and theatre director Josep Lluís Bozzo - when they regretted that in January 2018 Puigdemont could not be invested because "some people made it impossible". The CUP has also been chastised for not having facilitated Jordi Turull's investiture. However, it has not gone any further. The electoral campaign will be long and there will be moments for everything, but JxCat has placed Salvador Illa in its point of view.