dissabte, 20 de setembre de 2014

Two-third majority of Catalan Parliament reaffirms its commitment with November 9 independence vote

A two-third majority of the Catalan parliament has approved on Wednesday a motion supporting the self-determination consultation vote, scheduled on the 9th of November, which has to take place "with all the possible democratic and participation guarantees". With this resolution, the parties supporting such a vote have reaffirmed their support and commitment to carry out this vote, which will very likely be banned by the Spanish authorities in the coming days. The motion has been approved on the last day of the Catalan Parliament's main annual debate, called the General Policy Debate. It has also been passed two days before the approval of the Catalan Law of Consultation Votes, which will be the legal framework to organize November's independence vote. This Wednesday's motion has obtained the support of 89 MPs of the 133 representatives who participated in the vote, a 66.9% majority. 

The resolution has been approved with the votes of the governing centre-right pro-Catalan state coalition CiU (which brings Liberals and Christian-Democrats together), the left-wing Catalan independence party ERC, the Catalan green socialist and post-communist coalition ICV-EUiA and the alternative and radical independence party CUP. In addition, two MPs from the Catalan Socialist Party (PSC) and a third one, who had just left his parliamentary group two days ago for his party leadership's stance on self-determination, have supported the motion, while the rest of the PSC MPs opposed it. Furthermore most of the PSC MPs, the Spanish nationalists conservative People's Party (PP) and populist Ciutadans (C's) have also opposed the motion. Not all the 135 MPs voted since 2 were absent, one from each side.

The CiU, the ERC, the ICV-EUiA, the CUP, the MP Joan Ignasi Elena – who quit the PSC group 2 days ago – and two other MPs from the PSC who are still in the Socialist parliamentary group – Núria Bonaventura and Marina Geli – have supported the motion. The text has received 89 "yes" votes, 44 "no" and 0 abstentions.

The motion requests the President of the Catalan Government to call the self-determination vote "respecting the legal frameworks", without specifying which ones. The parties have requested the Catalan Government to allocate "all the necessary technical and human resources and means" to guarantee that "the consultation vote can be carried out with all the possible democratic and participation guarantees". On top of this, the motion specifies that the Catalan Parliament's plenary has to be consulted "whenever the circumstances [...] require it to do so" in"the democratic process to have Catalonia deciding on its own future ".

By this text, the Catalan Parliament "supports" the "consultation vote on Catalonia's future taking place "on the 9thof November" in order to ask the citizens what was agreed among the CiU, the ERC, the ICV-EUiA and the CUP in December 2013. Back then, these 4 parliamentary groups, representing 6 parties ranging from the Christian-Democrats to the Alternative Left, through the Liberals, Greens, Social-Democrats and post-Communist, agreed on a two-part question.

"Do you want Catalonia to become a State? If yes, do you want this State to become independent?" This is the question Catalans will be asked on the 9th of November, following December's agreement. Citizens wanting independence should answer "yes" to both questions. Those wanting the current status quo should answer "no". And those wanting a Catalan state within a federal Spain, therefore opposing total independence, should vote "yes" to the first part and "no" to the second one.

The motion underlines that "the people of Catalonia" expressed "in a very clear way" their will to freely decide on their own future, through massive demonstrations and through the last Catalan elections, which took place in November 2012. The parties stressed that they are acting "with full loyalty and following this [electoral] mandate, as is the Catalan Government and President". They also mention that "year after year" Catalans have organised peaceful and massive demonstrations requesting such a vote.

The parliamentary text also emphasises that the Catalan parliament already approved a 'Declaration of Sovereignty' on the 23rd January, 2013. In fact, they highlight that the self-determination process has to continue following the principles listed in such Declaration. Finally, the motion adds that there are manifold "juridical arguments" backing November's consultation vote, as was stressed by the Catalan Council of Constitutional Guarantees.

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