If the suspended president is sentenced, Junts will have to roll up its sleeves to keep the baton of the Chamber before the possible alliances that break the tie between ERC and the PSC
The ‘president’ Pere Aragonès paves the way this coming week to exhaust the legislature as planned, in 2025, despite the plan by Junts, the ERC minority in the Government and the uncertain future of his alliance with the PSC and the Comuns. Next Friday the budgets for 2023 will be definitively approved, in a plenary session in which the dissolution of the blocks in the chamber and the rupture of the independence movement will be certified. With the 2023 budgeted and before a 2024 between the polls -after the municipal and general elections, the Catalan ones make their way- an extension of the accounts can be activated to reach 2025. So while the head of the Government accommodates stability, he Parliament faces the end of its interim. There are already seven months with the dynamic of empty chairs in force -in addition to the presidency, the position of the general secretary is vacant-, a stage that should be completed when the suspended president, Laura Borrasbe sentenced.
The prosecution has not altered the request to sentence Borràs, but it has altered the co-defendants who incriminated her, so she faces six years in prison, 21 of disqualification and a fine of 146,000 euros for the crimes of prevarication and document falsification. The court will rule on whether Borràs is acquitted or convicted and will thus mark her political future.
The acquittal would imply that the Junts leader recovers her seat in the Chamber, with the presidency in hand, since she did not abandon the position and remains vacant – the first vice president, Alba Verges, assumes functions without holding office. Her return would make those who temporarily vetoed her uncomfortable, even more so considering that she is willing to retaliate when she is reinstated and go to court to denounce the Parliament in search of reparation.
But if Borràs ends up being disqualified, Junts is left without the guarantee of being able to continue governing the parliamentary institution. The departure of the Government leaves the pact with ERC on wet paper, so the distribution of powers that they forged in 2021 is without effect. Now, the Republicans will play to find a pact with the post-convergence -as long as JxCat presents profiles of a moderate nature, such as anna erra either Martha Madrenasalthough those related to Borràs support Aurora Madaula– to avoid a cascade of criticism from the pro-independence flank.
Leave Borràs definitively out of the Chamber promotes a rapprochement between Junts and ERC. Now, the CUP has no interest in supporting a post-convergent candidate -in fact, they did not endorse the president suspended in March 2021-, and the veto of the Comuns is well known.
Yeah Esquerra advocates voting for an ‘independence’ candidate, the purple ones are committed to endorsing one of ‘progressive’, in search of the pact to three that will illuminate the budgets. The other three-way alliance -PSC, ERC and Junts-, is already predicted to be completely unlikely, even if it served to renew expired positions. If there is no agreement, and both Republicans and Socialists present their own candidate, since the PSC is not about to give another institution to Esquerra, all the pressure will pass to the CUP and the Comuns.
The regulation makes it clear that each deputy has to write a single name on the ballot and the one who gets absolute majority. If no one obtains it, the vote must be repeated between the two deputies with the most votes. “If parity persists after four votes, the candidate of the parliamentary group with the most deputies is considered elected& rdquor ;. In the case of ERC and the PSC, it would mean a tie at 33 if they do not get the support of other groups.
But there is an ace up the sleeve at the disposal of the Socialists: the tie for seats in the appointment of the head of the opposition is resolved in favor of the group “that has obtained the most votes in the elections”, according to the regulations. So the PSC could use this card by pulling the 49,185 ballots that are ahead of ERC. The objective is to agree on a way out and avoid such a mess, but, if necessary, a war of interpretations would be opened, as is usual in Parliament.
Borràs’ replacement at the Table would be the fifth in two years, and predictably not the only one in the coming months. Vergés is the ERC candidate for Igualada City Councilso the Republicans are already counting on replacing her, although the forecast is that she will maintain the position until May.