Politics 15/03/2021

JxCat says there is a "pre-agreement" to defend the rights of MPs prior to firm court rulings

Artadi proposes a reform of the regulation, which is yet to be agreed with CUP and ERC

3 min
Laura Borràs has already taken her place as the new president of the Parliament in the hemicycle

BarcelonaOne of the keys to the legislature will be how pro-independence parties act in Parliament in response to court decision. This is not only related to resolutions regarding the Independence bid, but, above all, in relation to pending court cases that could end up with disqualifications, As published on Monday by ARA , there are several pro-independence MPs who run the risk of losing their seat after being disqualified by a court, as happened to ex president Quim Torra. Another possibility is that they are dismissed by the parliamentary Bureau, which has the obligation to suspend any member who is stands indicted of corruption. Parliament Speaker, Laura Borràs, can be affected by either situation and, as already advanced on Sunday in an interview with ARA, this Monday Junts per Catalunya has assured that there is a "pre-agreement" with Esquerra to maintain the rights of the deputies until there is a firm court ruling. "At least to be able to maintain the presumption of innocence before the Spanish injustice," said party spokeswoman Elsa Artadi at a press conference

How to convey this principle of agreement? This is the question that remains unanswered. Junts believes that it can be included in a reform of the regulations of the Catalan chamber. Artadi has defended that regulations have to be changed to include last legislature's equality plan, to introduce the "anti-fascist" pact and also to confront "lawfare", which she believes the Spanish State to be waging against the pro-independence movement. In this reform, Artadi would include a modification so that parliamentarians' rights are not suspended until there is a firm court ruling. Currently, when it comes to crimes linked to corruption, the bureau has to suspend the rights and duties of MPs from the moment in which the opening of the oral trial is confirmed.

In any case, the spokeswoman of Junts has said that the reform of the regulation is not the only way to achieve it and they had not yet reached an agreement with Esquerra on this point. She has remarked that pro-independence forces are working on "a decalogue of different casuistry" to be able to advance in this subject

In fact, ERC has confirmed at a press conference that they have been discussing changing the regulations, but not the specific article that may affect Parliamentary Speaker, Laura Borràs. "We have been talking about a reform of the regulation in which there are many things, such as incorporating the equality plan, the digitalisation of Parliament and also adapting it to current needs. We have not, however, spoken about in what way it has to be reformed and we have not spoken about specific points," said the deputy secretary general of ERC, Marta Vilalta, responding to questions on this issue. "We will be proactive because it is much more useful in the defence of rights," Vilalta has simply said. ERC sources say Junts has not brought up to reform of this specific article (25.4) directly and regret that the sectoral work has not yet been addressed in the negotiations.

Artadi has advanced that it will be from this Monday that they will begin to talk about the programmatic lines of the new government: "The agreement is closer". However, according to Junts, it is not yet time to talk about the distribution of the areas of government and the distribution of ministries, an issue that they intend to address at the end of the negotiation.

Vilalta, on Monday

Borràs' speech

The new Speaker of the chamber, Laura Borràs, failed to mention her predecessor Roger Torrent in her first speech after being elected and only claimed the legacy of the former Speaker Carme Forcadell. Vilalta, however, wanted to vindicate Torrent's work. "He has defended the sovereignty of Parliament and we want to continue to do so," he said of Torrent.

She has also called to avoid "sterile reproaches" on the past and to accelerate in the negotiation on the investiture and Pere Aragonès to lead an executive as soon as possible better. After Borràs was elected Speaker, Vilalta believes that Junts also has to do its "part" and vote the ERC candidate into the presidency of the Generalitat

Artadi, in turn, has denied that Borràs's speech was a "reproach" to Esquerra, and has remarked that the new Speaker set ERC's Carme Forcadell as a model to follow.

Junts National Council

Party spokesperson, Elsa Artadi, has also explained that in the next thirty days an extraordinary congress will be called to pick a pick a president for Junts per Catalunya's National Council, which is yet to be constituted. Thereafter, the members of the council will be elected.