Its composition is in the hands of Junts, the party of former Catalan president Carles Puigdemont, which raises demands such as a self-determination referendum to support the socialist candidacy.
The Constitution of the Table of Congress in Spain is still up in the air, less than 24 hours after the votes to elect its members take place, due to the stalling of the negotiations with the Catalan independence party Junts per Catalunya, of the former president Regional Carles Puigdemont.
This is the first milestone of the legislature after the holding of general elections on July 23, which yielded an uncertain result: lThe right and left blocs were tied in seats, which has made the 7 Junts deputies decisive both for constituting the body that presides over the Lower House, and for achieving an investiture as Prime Minister.
Thus, Spanish politics is pending the decision taken by the formation of Puigdemont, whose Executive is scheduled to meet on Thursday morning, immediately before the appointment in Congress that will start the legislature.
Junts, between radicalism and moderation
The more moderate wing of Junts is in favor of negotiating the investiture of the socialist candidate and acting president Pedro Sanchez, in exchange for advances in self-government and measures to alleviate the criminal prosecution of those who participated in the 2017 illegal self-determination referendum.
The cardinal points of our position have not changed, due to more pressures and corredisses of darrera hour than I did, and some insult that gets out of control. It is to say: do not have confidence in the Spanish political parties, total caution is little and promise them not to escalfen or…
— krls.eth / Carles Puigdemont (@KRLS) August 16, 2023
On the contrary, the most radical sector demands to agree on a self-determination referendum, as well as the amnesty for all those convicted or prosecuted for acts related to the sedition attempt six years ago. This is precisely where Puigdemont’s position is located, who continues to lead his formation since his self-exile from Waterloo, where he took refuge to evade the action of Spanish justice.
This Wednesday morning the former Catalan president has said through his networks that “they are necessary verifiable facts before committing any vote“, in the framework of the negotiations for the Bureau and for the investiture.
The Socialists rule out the self-determination referendum
The acting government of the socialist president has categorically ruled out the negotiation of a referendum on self-determination. In fact, any request that, under his consideration, falls outside the constitutional framework is ruled out.
Other proposals on which a debate could take place are the establishment of a new Statute of autonomy and the implementation of the use of Catalan in the Congress of Deputies.
They would be especially open to this last approach, which comes just two weeks after the acting Minister of Labor and leader of Sumar, Yolanda Diaz, announced that she would take this proposal to Congress to process a reform of its regulations that includes the use of co-official languages, such as Catalan.
In any case, the Socialists prefer to focus first on the negotiations to form the Congress Table and postpone those of the investiture, since the body is key to control parliamentary time and process business which will be debated in the House.
What role would Francina Armengol play?
The last movement of the Socialist Party occurred this Tuesday, when it launched as its candidate to preside over the body of Congress the socialist deputy Francina Armengol, 52, who was until May President of the Balearic Islands and who ruled for 8 years in coalition with nationalist groups.
The election of Armengol is a clear gesture towards the Catalan pro-independence parties, with whom Balearic politics maintained more than cordial relations during their mandates, with a pactista profile well seen also by other possible partners of Sanchez.
And now that?
The difficult parliamentary arithmetic, which came out of the polls on July 23, leaves a key part of the future of the legislature in the hands of Junts per Catalunya.
The Socialist Party, along with its partners, including Sumar, Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya (ERC) and the Basque Nationalist Party (PNV), make up the progressive bloc that reaches 171 seats, of the 350 that the Spanish lower house has, the same as the sum of the Popular Party (PP), the far-right Vox and the Union of the Navarro People (UPN).
If Junts does not support either of the two blocs, the presidency of the Congress Table would go to the only deputy of the Canary Islands Coalition (CC), who currently governs in his region with the PP.
A similar situation will occur weeks later, when the investiture of a president is voted to choose between Pedro Sanchez and the leader of the PP, Alberto Nunez Feijoo.
Sanchez will need at least the abstention of Junts and the support of CC, while Feijoo is in the same position. if none get more yes than no In two months, the Cortes will be dissolved and new elections will be called, which will arrive at the end of the year.