Col·lectiu Emma - Explaining Catalonia

Monday, 4 january 2016 | THE GUARDIAN


Catalonia plunged into uncertainty as leftwing CUP rejects Mas

With no majority, the incumbent Catalan president is legally bound to call new regional elections in March

After months of wrangling, threats and horse trading, the incumbent Catalan president Artur Mas failed on Sunday to get the backing of the radical CUP, plunging the region into political uncertainty.

Without the CUP, Mas does not have a majority and on 10 January he is legally bound to call new regional elections in March. This makes even more remote the possibility of cobbling together a coalition government in Madrid.

Spain will probably have to go to the polls this spring as well after none of the parties was able to form a majority following the 20 December general election.

The leftwing and secessionist CUP (Popular Unity Candidacy) had come under intense pressure to back Mas, who over the past three years has emerged as the key figure in the independence movement. In a vote on the issue on 27 December, the party split equally into yes and no camps.

On Sunday, the no camp prevailed by just four votes and unless the Together for Yes coalition that won the most seats at the 27 September election produces another candidate before 10 January, elections are inevitable.

“The independence process will continue without the investiture of Mas,” the CUP’s Gabriela Serra told a press conference. “Mas has said he won’t be an obstacle. He’s got one week to prove it.”

Mas’s rightwing, nationalist Convergència i Unió party has ruled Catalonia for all but three years since democracy was introduced in 1978 but has torn itself apart over the independence issue.

After the success of Podem, the Catalan version of Podemos, in last month’s general election, the March election could produce a regional government that is radically different from any that has gone before. Podem and the CUP are broadly in agreement on social issues and, with Podem in favour of a referendum on Catalan sovereignty, the two could emerge as the strongest political forces.

The CUP has consistently said that it would not support Mas because of the many corruption allegations surrounding his party and because his government has imposed deep cuts in spending on health and education.

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Col·lectiu Emma - Explaining Catalonia

Col·lectiu Emma is a network of Catalans and non-Catalans living in different countries who have made it their job to track and review news reports about Catalonia in the international media. Our goal is to ensure that the world's public opinion gets a fair picture of the country's reality today and in history.

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Col·lectiu Emma - Explaining Catalonia