The official discourse of Junts per Catalunya is that the suspended president of Parliament, Laura Borràs, is the victim of judicial persecution for her independence movement. Not even the confession (and agreement with the Prosecutor’s Office) of the beneficiary of the contracts that she divided when she directed the Institució de les Lletres catalanes has moved that approach, but in recent days voices have emerged that raise, already loud and openly , that there will be no Numantine resistance in the event of a conviction and, even from his entourage, resigning from the seat is proposed as an act of protest and confrontation. Another thing is the presidency of Junts, whose statutes as a party do not prevent Borràs from continuing to lead despite a firm condemnation.
The last to break the silence has been the Junts candidate for mayor of Barcelona, Xavier Trias. In an act at the Círculo Ecuestre, last Monday, he bordered on the limits of the official position of the formation, assuring that in the event of a sentence against Borràs, Junts would need to “reflect on whether [la inhabilitación] it harms the formation or not”. I am in favor of everyone being generous in these situations, ”he added in a clear reference to Borràs.
The ban on the political future of Borràs had been lifted, a week ago, by the expresident Artur Mas when assuring in an interview on Catalunya Ràdio that he is against leaving the presidency of Parliament empty. Although the former president believes that there is an unusual “severity” against Borràs for a “common in all public administrations” issue. “Institutions, beyond the situation of an individual person, are above people,” he assured, after recalling his passage to the side, in 2016, because “there was no way out” to light a new legislature for the veto of the CUP in his name.
Although he is not a member of Junts, the positions of the expresident they continue to influence an important part of the formation and its bases. And even more so when everything points to a return movement from the party now led by Borràs and Jordi Turull to a certain vindication of the way of doing and thinking that characterized Convergència. Mas described the events for which the Prosecutor’s Office requests six years in prison and 21 years of disqualification for Borràs as a “potential administrative offense.”
The suspended president of the Parliament is waiting for the Superior Court of Justice of Catalonia to issue a ruling on her case and it is very possible that this will arrive even before the municipal elections in May. The regulations of the Chamber forced her to leave her position on hold last summer, an extreme that affects all deputies who are facing an oral trial for a crime related to corruption. That same text requires the withdrawal of the seat if there is a final sentence. Borràs has the right to go to a second instance (in this case the Supreme Court), thus maintaining an interim situation in the Chamber. But the Central Electoral Board has already acted in the past, through administrative channels, since it understands that a sentence of disqualification is a “cause of supervening ineligibility” and directly issues the credential to the next deputy.
The story of what happened with the former deputy of the CUP, Pau Juvillà, would be repeated. After being disqualified for disobedience for maintaining yellow ties on the facade of the Lleida City Hall, in the 2019 elections, the independence movement clung to the lack of a final ruling to keep him in the seat but the JEC intervened. Borràs said that he would support him until the end but ended up obeying the electoral authority. The Supreme Court also came to decide whether or not the seat could be removed and agreed with the Board. That precedent suggests a quick exit for Borràs if he is convicted.
The official position of the party towards Borràs had never entered into what could happen the day after an eventual conviction. Furthermore, in private, many former leaders question abandoning the possibility of holding the position of second authority in Catalonia to protect its president. The difference between the massive support on the first day of the trial and the photo of the last session, where only a handful of faithful accompanied her, shows that the situation of the former candidate for the presidency of the Generalitat is increasingly precarious.
Even in Borràs’s environment there is also talk of resignation as a way out, yes, in the key of epic and denunciation against the alleged persecution by the State. In some very surprising statements, the second secretary of the Parliamentary Committee and main supporter of the Junts leader in the Chamber, Aurora Madaula, approved the scenario in which Junts rejects the program L’Hemicicle, on Catalunya Ràdio. charge after disqualification. “A resignation as a sign of protest would be a decision that could be made, to denounce this political persecution and a partisan use of the Chamber and that the judicial powers play with the voters and with the democratic will.”
After defending Borràs’ innocence without fissures, Madaula accepted that in the “scandalous” event that the JEC finally calls for the replacement, it should be Borràs herself who decides who is her replacement in the presidency of the Chamber. She discards herself despite being in the Chamber: “I am not the natural replacement and I do not think there is,” she insisted. The president’s squire suspended if she was sure that she will be able to continue at the head of the party, as established in the statutes.
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