How This Small Socialist Party May Ruin Hopes For Catalan Independence

By Domen Mohoric

Three months after regional elections in Catalonia, that were originally thought to have brought a major victory for secessionist parties and was interpreted as a sort of referendum on future independence, the wealthiest province of Spain will be going to polls for the fourth time in the last five years.

Cracks in the pro-independence camp have already showed before the elections, with the anti-capitalist group Candidatura d’Unitat Popular (CUP) although being pro-independence, strongly opposes reinstatement of the acting Catalan premier Artur Mas.

Mas is the leader of the rightwing, nationalistic Democratic Convergence of Catalonia (CDC) and the nominal winner of the November elections.

Groups that make up the separatist block were able to acquire a majority in the 135 seat regional parliament but the Mas led coalition was still reliant on the CUP in order to stay in power.

Mas’ CDC will have to win a swing of 10 seats in order to make their own majority in the Catalan parliament in the fresh elections that are now expected to be held in March.

CUP rejects Mas as a premier candidate because of corruption allegations and what they feel to have been too deep cuts in social welfare, education and health services by the government in previous term.

CDC has refused to put forward a new nominee, rejecting CUP, who has proposed for a compromise on an alternative candidate.

The demands were harshly rejected, with Mas saying that CUP “didn’t understand that to turn Catalonia into an independent state it is necessary to add and not to subtract, voting rather than vetoing” and “Junts Pel Sí has moved on everything which mattered. CUP hasn’t moved on the only thing that wasn’t important: the ‘who’”.

CDC is defiantly standing behind Mas, although the current impasse will be a major roadblock on Catalonia’s planned 18 month secession process, which is already falling behind schedule and is being heavily contested by Spain’s rulers in Madrid.

Mas, who has at a time proclaimed that that he would step aside if he ever became “a problem” for the secession has announced that “On Monday I will sign the decree calling new elections.”

If the Catalan parliament doesn’t come up with some sort of 11th hour compromise, new elections will be called.

For Catalans this means that they’ll be going to the polls again sometime in March and will have to endure further months of political uncertainty.

This time however, the very future of a country may be at stake.


Cover Photo Credit: Núria/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

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