Politics 02/02/2021

Sabater claims CUP will not invest Borràs if indicted but then backs down

The leader of JxCat urges the CUP to choose "between Spanish injustice and Catalan democracy".

3 min

BarcelonaAfter the earthquake caused by the CUP candidate, Dolors Sabater, saying that they were "more prepared and willing than ever" to enter the Government and that the political council forced the formation to qualify this will, today Sabater lit a fire that was not foreseen in the script of the campaign. In an interview on Gemma Nierga's Cafè d'idees on TV2 and Radio 4, reported by ACN, Sabater has assured this morning that the CUP is not willing to support the presidential candidate of JxCat, Laura Borràs, while she is still under investigation for alleged irregularities when she was the head of the Institució de les Lletres Catalanes. Sabater denied it later. "Obviously not," Sabater replied when asked if Borràs could be invested if she were to be indicted by the Supreme Court. "The suspicions of corruption should be clarified before someone is enabled to govern the country," she then sentenced.

After the controversy was unleashed, the CUP has sent a statement to the media to add more nuances to the words of Sabater. "The candidacy has assured that it has demonstrated its commitment against corruption but also its solidarity against repression and state causes," they explained in writing. And despite stressing that the independence movement "cannot allow even a shadow of doubt", the anti-capitalist formation has added that "the only veto that the CUP has put on the table is a government that continues with the paralysis of the last 3 years".

This is what Sabater said later in an electoral act of the CUP at midday. The candidate has retracted her statement in the face of the discomfort her words have caused. "The only veto that we have put forward is a government [of direct rule from Madrid] and to continue with the paralysis of the current Government of these last three years", has affirmed Sabater, who has gone further and has attributed the indictment against the candidate of JxCat to "the general cause against the independence movememt". In the previous interview, Sabater has already introduced a "nuance" to explain that the CUP will not always base itself on the investigations of the Spanish justice system. "We have to know that there is a danger that causes are invented and we must be careful not to turn against all pro-independence politicians or leftists," he said. However, she insisted that in the case of Borràs they must be "very strict". Precisely what the candidate of JxCat denounces is "persecution" by the Spanish justice. Be that as it may, it is not the first time that the CUP positions itself against the presidential candidate of another formation: after the 2015 elections, and in large part also due to suspicions of corruption, the anti-capitalists vetoed Artur Mas and forced his replacement by Carles Puigdemont. Also in 2018 they frustrated the investiture of Jordi Turull with their abstention.

Borràs did not take long to react. She was being interviewed on Els matins of TV3 and Lídia Heredia asked her what she thought of the CUP's position. "The CUP will have to make decisions: they are either on the side of Spanish injustice or Catalan democracy", she answered. Until now, the judicial investigation to clarify whether Borràs split IEC contracts to favor a person had only entered the campaign in the TVE debate last Sunday. It was the candidate of Cs, Carlos Carrizosa, who brought it up and Borràs simply said it did not deserve a response: "They only sling mud around. I have a very clean conscience. There is no case or anything to say."

CUP and ERC already showed doubts when the Spanish Parliament suspended Borràs's inmunity so the courts could investigate. Then the two parties did not participate in the vote while JxCat voted against it, denouncing that the rights of Borràs had been "trampled" on. The PDECat, which had not yet broken away from JxCat, also voted against the request.