JxCat and ERC Are Close to Reaching an Agreement on the Formation of a new Government in Catalonia

After weeks of disagreements and reproach between JxCat and ERC on the formation of a new government, both parties appear to be close to reaching a final agreement. Sources near the negotiations said that Puigdemont would lead a provisional republican government in Brussels aimed at internationalizing the Catalan cause while someone else with executive powers would do the same in Catalonia.

Nevertheless, Puigdemont would still be responsible for the appointment of the new government and he would have the power to call new elections at any given moment. Members of ERC and JxCat said that this move would allow the new government to comply with the popular mandate of the latest election: the construction of the Catalan Republic.

First, pro-independence parties would use their absolute majority in Parliament to proclaim Puigdemont's legitimacy as president. He would then nominate a candidate for appointment as a head of government to exercise the functions of president of Catalonia, but with republican criteria.  

Puigdemont could choose the jailed Catalan leader Jordi Sànchez to head the Catalan government, though his nomination could become symbolic since the Spanish government likely wouldn’t allow him either to be sworn in as president or attend the Parliament. However, such a move would allow pro-independence parties to confront the Spanish government within the current Spanish legal framework and internationalize the Catalan case. The second option would be Jordi Turull, who would also likely be suspended by the Spanish Supreme Court in a few months. Thus, the third, most feasible option would be Elsa Artadi, who could be responsible for leading the country for the next four years.

Artadi is Puigdemont’s right hand. She led his campaign for the December 21st election and is and is currently leading the negotiations between JxCat and  ERC. Presumably, her election as president would allow Puigdemont to control the executive power of Catalonia since she would be willing to let him lead from Brussels.

As for the formation of a government, JxCat and ERC have decided to split the governmental functions 50-50 and each party will decide on its own ministers. The road-map for the next legislature includes the implementation of measures to grow social support for independence as well as the construction of the state’s infrastructure in order to build the Republic of Catalonia in the near future.

ERC has imposed the condition that the policies carried out by the new executive must respect the current Spanish legal framework as well as avoid any unilateral action. They argue that the results of the latest election no longer allow them to take unilateral steps, at least not until support for independence reaches more than 50% of the votes in an election.