The former president of the Generalitat, Carles Puigdemont, on May 2 at the French headquarters of the European Parliament.


The former president of the Generalitat, Carles Puigdemont, on May 2 at the French headquarters of the European Parliament.
The former president of the Generalitat, Carles Puigdemont, on May 2 at the French headquarters of the European Parliament.JULIEN WARNAND (EFE)

Since noon this Saturday, Junts per Catalunya, the party founded from the political movement with which Carles Puigdemont responded to the intervention of Catalan autonomy in 2017, changes reins. At a congress held in Argelès-sur-Mer (France), the current president of the Parlament, Laura Borràs, will assume the presidency in tandem with the former Minister of the Presidency, Jordi Turull, who will be the general secretary. This is the first step with which the formation tries to draw its future beyond the image of the former presidentwho will now dedicate himself to his work as an MEP and to what he calls the “internationalization of process”. The question remains, yes, about how he will intervene in the life of a party of which, at least on paper, he will only be a grassroots militant.

The list led by Borràs and Turull is the only one that has been put to the consideration of the militants and was the result of a long negotiation to prevent the party from being divided into two. Each one represents a sector and will share a leadership where the limit of both responsibilities is blurred and whose greatest challenge is to combine the most confrontational ideas of the leader of the Chamber with a more possible and institutional line of the former counselor, who received a pardon from the Government almost a year ago after being sentenced in the trial of the independence leaders.

In that pulse to be able to make a unitary list, which would avoid division, Borràs managed to impose half of the names on the list that will be in the Executive. He has also achieved that, unlike Puigdemont, his presidency does have executive powers and thus intervene in the day-to-day running of the party. The second step in the design of this new Junts post Puigdemont will be in mid-July, when both the organizational proposal and the political proposal will be voted on in L’Hospitalet de Llobregat. These are the roadmaps where the responsibilities of Borràs and Turull and the party’s roadmap will be established, on such thorny points as the policy of pacts and relations with Esquerra.

Another question is how the apparent bicephaly between Borràs and Turull will work. It is not a good time for the president of the Chamber, now harassed by new revelations about the alleged fragmentation of public contracts to benefit a friend when she directed the Institució de les Lletres Catalanes, before 2017. She insists that it is a political persecution against him.

The congress will be held in French territory so that Puigdemont can attend with all the security guarantees, despite the rulings of the European justice that support his temporary immunity despite the fact that he is wanted by the Spanish justice system. The current secretary general, Jordi Sànchez, who last April had announced that he would not repeat the post and thus facilitated the pact between Borràs and Turull, will also say goodbye there.

Puigdemont and Sànchez had managed, in July 2020, to reach the top of the Junts leadership with more than 90% of the support of the militancy. The day-to-day of the party was carried out by the former president of the ANC and also a beneficiary of the Government’s pardon, while the MEP had a more decorative role and, finally, was the substrate of the formation in an almost reverential sense. Although Puigdemont did not even participate in the weekly Junts meetings, a call or a tweet from him could end up changing the party’s position on various issues. In his environment they insist that, although he will continue to be aware of the life of the party, his interest now is to focus on the day-to-day of the so-called Consell de la República and in the European Parliament.

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