A split appeared to be forming within the main opposition Socialist Party (PSOE) after the head of the group's PSC Catalan branch, Pere Navarro, said the 14 PSC lawmakers in the national Congress would break with the PSOE line by voting on Tuesday in favor of an initiative calling for negotiations with the government of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy on holding a referendum allowing Catalans to decide their future within Spain.
The motion is being proposed by the ruling Catalan center-right nationalist coalition CiU. The PSOE spokesman in the constitutional committee in Congress, Ramón Jáuregui, said the initiative would not help Catalonia or anybody else. The PSC voted against a sovereignty declaration in the Catalan assembly in January. Navarro said if the current motion had been presented then, the PSC would have also backed it.
On Tuesday Carme Chacón, a PSC deputy who was a minister under Socialist Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero and challenged for the leadership of the party after the defeat at the last general election, said that she would not be voting in favor of the “separatist plan” for Catalonia.
Her declaration came after Francesc Vallès, the leader of the PSC ranks in the Catalan assembly, had said that Chacón would vote in accordance with the other 13 party representatives in Madrid.