The bases of Esquerra Republicana (ERC) see it necessary to raise the volume of the independence claim in the political discourse of the formation. That is the summary of the open assembly that was held this Tuesday electronically and that lasted a little over three hours. Participants in the meeting consulted by this newspaper have assured that both President Oriol Junqueras and the general secretary, Marta Rovira, have agreed to modulate the strategy but have ruled out making self-criticism about the result of the last municipal elections, where the party left 300,000 votes. compared to 2019 and was in third position after the PSC and Junts. Some interventions have also criticized the appointment of Gabriel Rufián by Junqueras to repeat as headliner in the general elections in July.
“The majority clamor has been to put independence at the center of the discourse,” explained one of the almost 400 militants who have connected to listen to the explanations of Junqueras and Rovira. “There are those who believe that we have abandoned national claims and have expressed that concern,” said a voice from the formation executive. Both parties agree that the interventions have been constructive, in an internal debate that openly questions the president for the first time. The tandem that leads the party has blamed the drop in the vote for ERC more than a week ago on abstention and they have opened up to better articulate the strategy. The results of 26-M were not as expected, Junqueras said, but “they are the second best in history” in municipal elections for ERC.
In one part of the bases they understand that the fault of the collapse is that the voters penalize the pacts with the PSOE in Madrid and with the PSC in the Catalan Executive. An idea that, however, the data seems to deny and that, for example, does not seem to have penalized Junts, which throughout the current mandate has shared a provincial executive with the Socialists in Barcelona. Junqueras, these voices explain, believes that there are things that “have not been done well” but insists that the problem is one of communication and explanation of the government’s action before the citizenry, not of substance. The top leaders have ratified the pact with Junts in the Barcelona City Council where, they have accepted, part of their voters have abandoned them for Xavier Trias.
Some of the interventions, these voices have explained, have advocated for “a change” in the visible face for 23-J. Junqueras, a week ago, assured that Rufián was “the best” candidate, something that was interpreted as an attempt by the Republican president to stop any debate dead. The still spokesman in Congress already certified last Monday, on Twitter, the commitment that in the coming campaign the tone will be raised against Pedro Sánchez and establish himself as the only force that guarantees that his vote in the investiture will not end up facilitating an Executive of the People’s Party. Rufián believes that only the good results of his and Bildu’s training are a guarantee that this will not happen.
“The key is not that the PSOE has the strength to stop what it has to its right, the key is that ERC and Bildu have it to force it to agree with what it has to its left,” he wrote on the social network. But at this juncture, however, “the price” according to Rufián must make Sánchez choose between “Catalonia or Vox”. “If 4 years ago the price of the investment was the creation of a space for negotiation, today that price must go up”, he insisted.
Setting that price, he has deepened, must be “shared and defended by all the pro-independence political forces”, without specifying the scope. The road map of the Republicans, after achieving at the dialogue table to modify the situation of those prosecuted and convicted for causes related to the process, is now set to try to get the Government to approve the road map on the conditions for an agreed referendum.
The Government has always refused to take that route. Junts and the CUP, the independence forces with representation in Congress, the commons and the PSC have also distanced themselves from the attempts of the Government chaired by Pere Aragonès to build the so-called Clarity Agreement, the conditions on that eventual vote on independence although without setting any schedule.
ERC has justified its support for Sánchez, since the motion of no confidence in Mariano Rajoy, in the creation of the dialogue table between the two governments. It is a body not provided for in any current regulations and in which both parties agree to be able to discuss political solutions to the political conflict, without going into the sectoral issues that are addressed in the Bilateral Commission that includes the Statute. Republicans have been committed to facilitating the General Budgets and victory in key votes such as the housing law. The PSOE allowed a controversial reform of the Criminal Code and granted pardons to the former ERC and Junts councilors convicted in the process trial.
ERC, on 26-M, was the force that obtained the most councilors in Catalonia and prevailed in two demarcations, but lost the key mayoralties of Tarragona, Lleida and Sant Cugat, among others. Photography in the 36 municipalities of the Metropolitan Area bring the results of 2015 back to training, questioning whether the public buys the discourse of good managers who have tried to offer these four years.