The president of ERC, Oriol Junqueras (c), with Gabriel Rufián and Teresa Jordà, during the National Council of the party. Enric Fontcuberta (EFE)
Teresa Jordà, former mayor of Ripoll (Girona) and current Minister of Climate Action in the Catalan Executive chaired by Pere Aragonès, will be the number two of Gabriel Rufián in the list for Barcelona of ERC for the general elections of July 23. The appointment of Jordà is a gesture to the most pro-independence wing of the party, which attributes to the scarce presence of that discourse the poor results obtained in the municipal elections in May. The proposal (the bases still have to endorse that candidacy) lead to tweak the regional government to replace the counselor.
"We entrust them with the defense of Catalonia and the cause of independence," said the president of ERC, Oriol Junqueras, in his speech before the National Council that the formation has held in Barcelona. The former vice president had annoyed the most pro-independence bases of the party by handpicking Rufián, but now he compensates them with the appointment of the counselor. The tandem for 23-J will have to be voted by the militancy shortly.
ERC and Junts per Catalunya agreed, after the regional elections of February 2021, an Executive in which, for the first time, the Republicans had the presidency. The internal clashes, caused by the management of the dialogue with the central government of Pedro Sánchez, led to the fact that in October 2022 the bases of the formation founded by Carles Puigdemont voted to leave the Government. ERC then opted for a monochrome adventure, alone and with little support in the Parliament.
The electoral fiasco of the last municipal elections of 28-M left ERC immersed in a deep shock from which it is now trying to recover. Some voices of the party, before the municipal elections, raised the possibility of implementing changes in the Executive to give it strength before the second part of the legislature, which will end in 2025. But the loss of up to 300,000 votes in the 28-M elections aborted any proposal that could be read as a sign of weakness.
The leadership of ERC has now made a virtue of weakness and the figure of Jordà allows, in some way, to face two problems that the Republicans have on the table. Last Tuesday, most of the interventions in the open assembly after the elections underlined the need to raise decibels to the independence claim. Although the path of dialogue is not renounced, many grassroots militants criticized that the acronym of the party in that axis has been decaffeinated. Jordà is one of the visible faces of the secessionist soul of ERC and that helps to generate complicities.
The hole that Jordà will most likely leave in the Government (ERC obtained 13 deputies in 2019, and therefore his seat is taken for granted) will imply, at least, his replacement. So far, Jordà has managed to overcome the controversy over measures against drought and has kept under control the debate on the deployment of wind farms in places as delicate as the Gulf of Roses. Officially, in the Palau de la Generalitat they deny that there will be more changes. But no one escapes the possibility that the remodeling of the Executive will be broader.
You can follow EL PAÍS Catalunya on Facebook and Twitter, or sign up here to receive our weekly newsletter