Friday, July 17, 2015

Catalan parties and civil groups make election alliance for independence

Parties seeking independence for Catalonia have forged an alliance for September 27th regional elections that they hope will boost their drive to break away from Spain. The meeting on July 14th was successful to find such an agreement.

Leaders of the centre-right CDC (Democratic Convergence of Catalonia) party and left-wing ERC (Catalonia's Republican Left) sealed a pact at a meeting on Tuesday, agreeing to run on a joint ticket on September 27. Moreover, the two biggest civical entities for indepence will be inside the ticket too. The Catalan National Assembly and Òmnium Cultural were present in the meeting too.

Spain's conservative national government fiercely opposes independence for the rich northeastern region, which wants to follow Scotland's example by voting on its political future.

The parties want the regional election to serve as a de facto referendum by running on a joint ticket, campaigning on the single issue of independence. They agreed that if they jointly win a majority, they will form a coalition government led by current regional president Artur Mas that will aim to achieve independence within 18 months.

Both parties agreed to let a Leftist Green politician (Raül Romeva) and two leaders of pro-independence civil groups head the electoral list to push the independence agenda forward.

The CDC currently governs Catalonia, a region with numerous pro- and anti-independence parties, but it split in June from its longtime coalition partner UDC in disagreement over the path to sovereignty. The pro independence faction of UDC broke with the party as well and founded a new one called Democrats of Catalonia. It is expected that this new group will support the "unity list" as well as the Spanish socialist party split called "Més" (in Catalan for "More").

The far left CUP, also pro independence, announced that they will run alone.

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