Plenary of the Constitution of the Parliament of Catalonia, January 17, 2018



Agencies | Drafting

It will be the first time that the plenary session meets after October 27, when the Republic was declared and then the application of Article 155 was triggered.

The Parliament of Catalonia of the XII Legislature will be constituted from the 11:00 hours with a great unknown: if the eight sovereign deputies indicted – three in jail and five in Belgium – will be able to delegate their vote because they cannot attend the hemicycle.

It will be the first time that the plenary session meets after October 27, when the Republic was declared and then the application of Article 155 was triggered: the central government he ceased the Government, dissolved the Parliament and took the reins of the autonomous administration.

Since then twelve sovereign leaders have passed through the jail, of which four remain in it, while five members of the dismissed Government are in Belgium; and there have also been a Catalan election that Cs has won for the first time.

Despite the victory of Inés Arrimadas, the independence majority remains in the hemicycle and is made up of 70 deputies from JunsxCat (34), ERC (32) and the CUP (4), while the rest of the plenary session will be made up of 65 deputies non-independentists: Cs (36), PSC (17), the commons (8) and the PP (4).

Warning of the lawyers of the Chamber

The first controversy of the legislature has come before the constitution of the Chamber: that the lawyers have warned that the 8 indicted deputies cannot delegate their vote because they consider that they do not comply with any of the assumptions of the Chamber’s Regulations to do so.

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However, the lawyers consider that the last word is held by the Age Table who will preside over the constitutive session and which is made up of the oldest and the two youngest deputy, so it will be made up of three deputies from ERC: Ernest Maragall, Ruth Ribas and Gerard Gómez del Moral.

If they allow the indicted deputies to vote, the independence movement will have a majority of 70 deputies to decide the president of the Chamber without further problems; If they do not allow it, the pro-independence majority will be left with 62 deputies, three less than the non-pro-independence bloc.

Although the independence movement remained in the minority, in all probability the president of the Parliament will be sovereign, since Cs, PSC, the commons and the PP have not agreed on an alternative candidate.

First big decision

If the Age Table endorsed the delegated vote of the defendants, the first conflict with the State of the new legislature would open: the President of the Spanish Government, Mariano Rajoy, has announced that he would challenge before the TC if the deputies in Belgium voted and that I would study doing it if those in jail do it.

ERC has proposed that the president be its elected deputy Roger Torrent, 38 years old and mayor of Sarrià de Ter (Girona), for a Table where they will also be expected Alba Vergés (ERC), José María Espejo-Saavedra, Joan García (Cs), David Pérez (PSC) and two names from JuntsxCat.

How do you vote?

The president of the Parliament is voted with the deputies writing the name in a ballot That they introduce in a ballot box: the one who has the absolute majority in a first vote wins; If no one succeeds, a second ballot is held with the two most voted candidates in the first, and the one with the most votes wins.

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The other six members of the Table will also be elected – two vice presidents and four secretaries – if there is no setback, the independentists will revalidate the absolute majority in the governing body with four of the seven seats.

Ninth president

The elected president of the Parliament will be the ninth since the restoration of democracy after Heribert Barrera (1980-1984), Miquel Coll i Alentorn (1984-1988), Joaquim Xicoy (1988-1995), Joan Reventós (1995-1999), Joan Rigol (1999-2003), Ernest Benach (2003-2010), Núria de Gispert (2010-2015) and Carme Forcadell (2015-2018).

After being elected, the president may address the deputies of the Chamber with his first speech of the legislature; in the previous mandate, Carme Forcadell gave a speech that ended with a “Long live the Catalan republic!”.

Next procedure

When this first procedure is passed, the new president of the Parliament will open a round of contacts with all the groups and have 10 working days to call the first debate to invest the next president of the Generalitat.

Here the controversy will regain strength since JuntsxCat and ERC insist that Carles Puigdemont should be invested despite being in Belgium, and he does so against the opinion of the Chamber’s lawyers, who consider it “essential” that the candidate be in the hemicycle.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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