Pro-independence Esquerra rules out backing Socialist Illa as Catalan president ‘at this moment’

The pro-independence Esquerra Republicana (ERC) party said they were not planning to support a presidential bid by Socialist Salvador Illa as the Catalan leader, ERC general secretary Marta Rovira said during an interview on Friday on the RAC1 radio station.

“At this moment, where we are,” they do not plan to support Salvador Illa, the winner of the election, as the next Catalan president.

“We are not afraid” to see new elections, Rovira said during the interview, and regretted that they are pressed from all sides.

“We have taken responsibility for one territory once again without asking for anything else in return,” said the secretary-general. Rovira currently lives in Geneva, Switzerland, and will step down in November after an extraordinary party summit that will decide the future of the political force after losing support in the election recent.

She said the parties must include an independence referendum, implement the amnesty law and establish a single financial system negotiate with Esquerra. One of her other claims is to “recover discussions” between pro-independence parties after the amnesty “victory” seen in the Spanish Congress on Thursday, where 177 lawmakers voted in favor of an amnesty law that will benefit dozens of pro-independence. figures including former Catalan president Carles Puigdemont of Junts+ and former vice president Oriol Junqueras, president of the Esquerra Republicana.

“We are very strong when we share our goals and are coordinated,” she said.

Esquerra: the key to Catalonia’s future

Despite losing 13 seats in the Catalan elections on May 12 and the resignation of their candidate Pere Aragonès as deputy on June 10, Esquerra Republicana holds the key to Catalonia’s future.

Aragonès, the current Catalan president, will leave front-line politics once a new government is elected. However, Esquerra could be decisive to see if the Socialists take the executive, or the Catalans go to the polls, once again, in October.

The Socialists need 68 MPs to support their candidate, Salvador Illa, to see him named president. However, they only have 42 representatives in the chamber, meaning they need the support of other political groups.

One of the most viable options is for a leftist or progressive agreement, seeing Esquerra and the Sumar left supporting a Socialist minority government or the formation of a coalition. All add up to 68 MPs, the minimum required for one absolute majority in the room.

The first step will be on June 10, when the first parliamentary session will take place, with all MPs taking the oath after the elections. On that day, MPs will also debate an office of parliament.

The chamber will then have 15 days to set up a first meeting for either presidential candidates to submit their offer and start the debate no later than June 25.

If no candidate is elected with an absolute majority after the first two-day debate, there will be a second chance 48 hours later, when the candidate needs a simple majority, more yes than no.

If the deadlock continues, lawmakers will have two months to vote again before snap elections are automatically called again. If the first presidential debate takes place on June 25th, it would happen on August 25th.

Once early elections are called, Catalans will return to the polls around October.