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 by telematic means and that lasted more than three hours. Participants in the meeting consulted by this newspaper have assured that both President Oriol Junqueras and the general secretary, Marta Rovira, accept 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 with respect to 2019 and was in third position after the PSC and Junts. Some interventions also criticized the finger designation of Gabriel Rufián by Junqueras to repeat as headliner in the July generals.
"The majority clamor has been to put independence at the center of the discourse," explains one of the almost 400 militants who connected to listen to the explanations of Junqueras and Rovira. "There are those who believe that we have abandoned national demand and have expressed that concern," said a voice of the executive of the formation. Both sides agree that the interventions were constructive, in an internal debate that openly questions the president for the first time. The tandem that leads the party blamed abstention for the fall in the vote for ERC more than a week ago and opened up to better articulate the strategy. The results of 26-M were not as expected, said Junqueras, but "they are the second best in history" in municipal elections for ERC.
In a 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 seem to deny and that, for example, does not seem to have penalized Junts, who throughout the current mandate has shared 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 in substance. The top leaders have been ratified in 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, those voices have explained, advocated "a change" in the visible face for 23-J. Junqueras, a week ago, said that Rufián was "the best" candidate, something that was interpreted as an attempt by the Republican president to stop any debate in its tracks. The still spokesman in Congress already certified last Monday, on Twitter, the bet that in the coming campaign the tone against Pedro Sánchez is raised and erected as the only force that guarantees that his vote in the investiture will not end up facilitating an Executive of the Popular Party. Rufián believes that only the good result of his training and Bildu 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 that juncture, however, "the price" according to Rufián must put Sánchez to choose between "Catalonia or Vox". "If 4 years ago the price of the investiture was the creation of a space for negotiation, today that price must rise," 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 that the situation of defendants and convicted for causes related to the procés was modified, now sets to try to get the Government to approve the road map on the conditions for an agreed referendum.
The Government has always refused to address this path. Junts and the CUP, the pro-independence forces with representation in Congress, the commons and the PSC have also distanced themselves from the attempts of the Government presided over by Pere Aragonès to build the so-called Clarity Agreement, the conditions on that eventual vote on independence although without setting any calendar.
ERC has justified the support for Sánchez, since the motion of censure to 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 accept to be able to talk about political solutions to the political conflict, without entering into the sectoral issues that are addressed in the Bilateral Commission that collects the Statute. Republicans have been committed to facilitating the General Budget and victory on key votes like the housing bill. The PSOE allowed a controversial reform of the Criminal Code and granted pardons to the former counselors of ERC and Junts convicted in the trial to the procés.
ERC, the 26-M, was the force that obtained more councilors in Catalonia and won in two demarcations, but lost the key mayoralties of Tarragona, Lleida and Sant Cugat among others. The photograph in the 36 municipalities of the Metropolitan Area return the training to the results of 2015, questioning whether citizens buy the discourse of good managers who have tried to offer these four years.
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