Catalan parties agree on new pro-independence government.

Catalonia’s two main pro-independence parties have ended more than three months of stalemate by agreeing on the formation of a new coalition government.

The Catalan Republican Left (ERC) and Together for Catalonia (JxCat) will repeat their coalition of the last legislature. However, this time, ERC is the senior partner with its leading candidate, Pere Aragonès, becoming president of the region.

“We have an agreement to put into movement the new republican Catalan government,” Mr Aragonès said, in announcing the accord alongside Jordi Sànchez, of JxCat, who will be vice-president.

In an extremely tight election on February 14th, ERC came a close second to the unionist Catalan Socialist Party (PSC), with both securing 33 seats. With the Socialists unable to form a majority in the 135-seat regional parliament, ERC has been seeking the support of JxCat, which won 32 seats, to form a new administration.

However, with the two parties at loggerheads for much of the last legislature they were unable to form a new government until now. Their disagreements included the distribution of ministerial posts and the strategy to pursue regarding independence.

In March, Mr Aragonès lost two investiture votes, only receiving the support of the leftist, pro-independence Popular Unity Candidacy (CUP).

But with a May 26th deadline approaching, which would have triggered a repeat election, ERC and JxCat hurried to iron out their differences in recent days, leading to a deal that gives each party seven cabinet ministries. They are also likely to need the CUP’s support in the upcoming investiture, which is expected to take place later this week.

New deal

Mr Sànchez, who is serving a nine-year prison term for sedition for his role in Catalonia’s failed bid for secession in 2017, carried out negotiations from Lledoners jail. He was granted a special leave to appear before the media to announce the new deal.

“We are determined to work, from the first day of this new government, to ensure that if the [Spanish] state does not give a positive response to the demands of the independence movement, we will keep advancing to make self-determination viable,” he said.

ERC has taken a relatively gradualist approach to independence since 2017, advocating negotiations with Madrid in the hope of holding a formal referendum. JxCat has criticised that strategy, warning that the leftist Spanish government is not committed to serious talks.

The role of Carles Puigdemont, the leader of JxCat who is in self-imposed exile in Belgium, has been particularly divisive. ERC was concerned at the influence his so-called Council for the Republic sought to wield over independence strategy.

Salvador Illa, the Socialist candidate who won the February election, described the fact the same two parties were forming a new coalition as “the ongoing death throes of a failure”.

The Irish Times

The Irish Times online. Latest news including sport, analysis, business, weather and more from the definitive brand of quality news in Ireland.

https://www.irishtimes.com/

Family of shooting victim says politicizing his death is 'disturbing'.

Family of shooting victim says politicizing his death is 'disturbing'.

Austin shooting victim Douglas Kantor's brother Nick tells 'America's Newsroom' that using his death to politicize gun control is the 'last thing' the family wants. #FoxNews Subscribe to Fox News! Watch more Fox News Video: Watch Fox News Channel ...

Ransomware Criminals Targeted in Ukrainian Police Raids.

Ransomware Criminals Targeted in Ukrainian Police Raids.

Police video shows cash and luxury goods being seized in an operation against the Cl0p gang, responsible for hacking organizations in the U.S. and South Korea.» Subscribe to NBC News: » Watch more NBC video: NBC News Digital is a collection of inn...

FACT CHECK: ‘Zero Evidence’ for Novel Coronavirus Lab Leak? Not so Fast.

FACT CHECK: ‘Zero Evidence’ for Novel Coronavirus Lab Leak? Not so Fast.

On May 26, U.S. President Joe Biden released a statement calling on the intelligence community “to redouble their efforts to collect and analyze information” that could allow a “definitive conclusion” on the origins of SARS-CoV-2, the virus behind...

Biden Leaves for Geneva Airport

Biden Leaves for Geneva Airport

U.S. President Joe Biden left the venue where he held a press conference after concluding a meeting with Russia's President Vladimir Putin in Geneva on Wednesday. READ MORE: U.S. President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin have ended ...

Watch Joe Biden discuss his meeting with Russia's Putin.

Watch Joe Biden discuss his meeting with Russia's Putin.

President Joe Biden had one single and simple goal at his press conference in the wake of his summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Geneva: Project absolute and utter normality. Did Biden engage in any threats? No, he said. Was there hyp...

Fox News' Peter Doocy asks President Biden if he'll press China for COVID origin probe.

Fox News' Peter Doocy asks President Biden if he'll press China for COVID origin probe.

President Biden answers Fox News’ Peter Doocy’s question on whether he’ll discuss the origin of COVID with Chinese President Xi. #FoxNews Subscribe to Fox News! Watch more Fox News Video: Watch Fox News Channel Live: FOX News Channel (FNC) is a 24...