REFERENDUM ROW

Catalan nationalist parties make show of unity in favor of November 9 referendum

Pro-independence groups come together to assuage recent doubts over self-rule vote

Left to right: Francesc Vendrell (ICV), Josep Rull (CDC) and David Fernández (CUP) in Prada de Conflent.
Left to right: Francesc Vendrell (ICV), Josep Rull (CDC) and David Fernández (CUP) in Prada de Conflent.Josep Maria Montaner / UCE

Catalan nationalist parties on Wednesday closed ranks in defense of the November 9 referendum on self-rule, and expressed their willingness to vote regardless of whether or not Spain’s Constitutional Court deems the poll illegal.

Leaders from the region’s four pro-independence parties – the Democratic Convergence of Catalonia (CDC, one half of the regionally ruling CiU nationalist bloc), the Catalan Republican Left (ERC), the leftist-green ICV and the Popular Unity Candidates (CUP) – delivered a joint lecture at a summer university in Prada de Conflent in the French Pyrenees, and called on Catalans to come out in force on Catalonia National Day on September 11 to express support for the referendum.

They also guaranteed that the poll on self-rule is legal as it issues from a law passed in the regional parliament. Spain’s nationally ruling Popular Party (PP) holds that the vote would be illegal according to the Spanish Constitution.

Evidently, the November 9 poll will take place because it is the decision of the Catalan people” Josep Rull, CDC

Despite months of assurances that the vote will take place on November 9, some members of the Catalan executive, in the hands of the CiU nationalist bloc, recently expressed doubts and even suggested the possibility of postponing the poll. This immediately incensed its more radical partner in government, ERC, and other parties with stronger pro-sovereignty positions.

ERC leader Oriol Junqueras has clearly positioned himself in favor of disobeying the Constitutional Court if the latter bans the referendum. On Wednesday, CDC’s Josep Rull said that “evidently, the November 9 poll will take place because it is the decision of the Catalan people, and the regional parliament will continue to make decisions regardless of what the Constitutional Court may or may not rule.”

The speakers also underscored that the referendum was not only aimed at pro-sovereignty Catalans, but at all Catalans, regardless of whether they favor independence or not.