— Liz Castro (@lizcastro) October 14, 2014
It’s been a tremendously hectic 24-hours in Catalonia since the pro-referendum parties announced yesterday night that consensus around the November 9 vote was broken following a change of plans by the Government. Today, the president Artur Mas explained that since the Spanish government has suspended the Law of Consultations and the decree calling a referendum, the vote won’t take place as it was planned. However, ruling Convergència i Unió party will still push for an alternative vote “with a different legal framework” and on the same date.
This resulted in the remaining pro-referendum parties –ERC, ICV-EUiA and CUP– initially refusing to back the government on the new roadmap. For this reason, Artur Mas said today that:
Vilaweb | President Mas’s new plan for independence (9-N) vote
‘We’re moving forward, not as united, but forward. Commitment means Catalan Government will hold the vote on that date, with ballot boxes and ballots. I would have preferred maximum consensus but it is now not possible’. […]’Although consensus is broken, I know for sure the real adversary is the Spanish state, which does everything it can to keep Catalan people from voting. We now need more people than ever, we are a bit more alone’.
Throughout the day representatives of all concerned parties explained their current stance. ERC, the second biggest party at the parliament asked Mas to backtrack and engage on a full-on referendum as it had been agreed previously. At the same time, though, its leader Oriol Junqueras admitted that if the government wasn’t to change plans, his party would “do its best to help ensure that Catalans can vote”.
ICV-EUiA openly rejected CiU’s “plan B”, arguing that holding it under such circumstances will “waste the consultation”. The party led by Joan Herrera is considering to call protests before the polling stations on November 9 to protest against the Spanish government ban on the referendum.
Finally, representatives of CUP declared that they will work to keep the consultation vote as it was planned and warned against turning the vote into an “electoral campaign tailored for the president”.
Despite his insistence on the government’s will to hold the vote next November 9, Artur Mas stated that this would be “an early consultation before the definitive one”. He later clarified that “the only definitive solution is through “plebiscitary” elections, that is, an election in which the pro-independence parties join a unitary list, whose victory could be recognised by the international community.”