Saturday, 09 January 2016

Pro-independence forces reach an agreement and Artur Mas won’t be president

CNA / Sara Prim

Barcelona (CNA).- Cross-party list ‘Junts Pel Sí’ and radical left CUP have finally reached an agreement to resolve the presidency of the new Catalan government and launch the independence roadmap. Current Catalan President and ‘Junts Pel Sí’'s number four, Artur Mas has decided to step aside and president of the Association of Municipalities for Independence (AMI) and mayor of Girona city, Carles Pugidemont, has been appointed as the candidate of consensus. In exchange, some of CUP’s MPs will resign in order to guarantee the stability of the new government. The investiture debate will take place on Sunday and a new President would have to be elected before midnight.

“This was not a predictable decision” stated Mas during his press conference before the media “it is the consequence of last minute changes, mainly promoted by individuals and associations which have a huge influence in our country” he added, referring to the Catalan National Assembly (ANC) the grassroots association responsible for the massive pro-independence rallies in Catalonia, which has lately urged the pro-independence parties to reach an agreement. “We were stuck. We didn’t have perspective and our project was about to fail” admitted Mas “now the [pro-independence] process is saved and the stability of the Catalan government guaranteed”. 

Carles Puigdemont, the new candidate for Catalan President

‘Junts Pel Sí’s member and president of the Association of Municipalities for Independence (AMI), Carles Puigdemont is Mas' candidate to be instated as Catalan President. Mas wanted to emphasise that Puigdemont was his personal proposal and explained that he knew the project perfectly well. The investiture debate will take place on Sunday and a new President would have to be elected before midnight "by majority and without further delay", stated Mas. “It is not only about proposing a candidate from ‘Junts Pel Sí’” nuanced Mas “it is about guaranteeing the stability of the upcoming Catalan government”.

Mas: “CUP will have to admit its mistakes”

“CUP will have to admit its mistakes” stated Mas “and to prove it there would have to be some changes within the party and some renewal will have to be made amongst its members”. Indeed, two CUP MPs will join ‘Junts Pel Sí’ parliamentary activity so that “the government’s proposals won’t be banned every now and then” he stated, referring to possible future vetoes from CUP. According to Mas, the 27-S Catalan Elections' results would have led to political instability. “CUP had the upper hand and now it is ‘Junts Pel Sí’ who controls the parliamentarian activity with CUP’s explicit commitment to guarantee its stability”, he stated. 

Mas won’t leave politics

Mas admitted that calling for new elections “would have been the worst scenario” and it “may have killed the entire process”. Therefore, he admitted being “very calm” and convinced that he made the right choice. “It hasn’t been an easy decision” he stated “but I think that I’m doing the right thing”.

The current Catalan President nuanced that he won’t leave the political sphere. “I resign as ‘Junts Pel Sí’s candidate but I’ll be at the Catalan Parliament and government’s disposal” he emphasised.  Mas announced that he will now focus on “relaunching” governing party liberal CDC and left the door open to the possibility of running for Catalan President in the future. 

  • Mas_i_Puigdemont

  • Image of current Catalan President, Artur Mas and the upcoming Catalan President and, Carles Pugidemont (by ACN)