Rovira goes to Belgium to shield with Puigdemont the presidency of the Parliament and the investiture

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The general secretary of ERC and number two of the party, Marta Rovira, will travel to Brussels in the next few days to discuss with Carles Puigdemont how to ensure the presidency of the Parliamentary Bureau and how to resolve the many unknowns that weigh on the investiture of a president independence, since the presence of three elected in jail and five in Brussels places the alleged sovereign majority on the verge of failure.

According to ERC sources, Rovira will take to Belgium three objectives: that of the eight deputies in question renounce at least four, so that the list runs and thus secure a majority; that Puigdemont himself accepts that in the event that Oriol Junqueras is set free – on January 4 his appeal to the Supreme Court can be seen – the ERC leader may be the candidate for the presidency, while Puigdemont, therefore, takes a step next to; and, finally, to address the problem of the resistance that Carme Forcadell opposes to repeat as president of the Chamber.

Contacts begin in the Parliament of Catalonia
In summary, the independentistas mounted some very symbolic lists but with serious practical problems at the time of being operational after the elections of 21-D. There are three elected deputies in jail: in addition to Junqueras himself, the ‘exconseller’ Joaquim Forn and the president of the ANC Jordi Sànchez. If on January 4 Judge Pablo Llarena released Oriol Junqueras, he could be presented as president, but not Puigdemont.

The reason is a legal issue. Legally you can collect the minutes from a distance but you can not take possession if you do not physically go to the Parliament. Therefore, the three deputies in the prison can be temporarily released to collect their minutes and take possession, something that the five escaped in Brussels – Puigdemont, including – could not take possession.

The deputies in the prison, therefore, enjoy advantages from the political point of view with which Brussels does not count. Junqueras and the rest of the detainees could be released to take possession and that same day vote the Mesa del Parlament, to guarantee a president of the Catalan independence chamber. Although later they returned to the jail. Something that will not be possible from the Belgian exile.

That would be the majorities, in a game of great complexity.
Theoretical majority
70 pro-independence deputies: 34 JxCAT + 32 ERC + 4 CUP.
57 non-independentists: 36 Cs + 17 PSC + 4 PP.
8 Catalonia in Comú.
Majority for the Table
But this majority of 70, 57, 8, would be subtracted by the legal situation of the 8 pro-independence deputies. There is jurisprudence so that the three deputies of the jail can go to the Parliament, something that would not do the five that Puigdemont leads from Brussels, since the ‘expresident’ intends to continue in Belgium.

Therefore, this would be the majority to choose president of the Bureau, although it does not depend on the deputies but on the voters – for example, PP and CUP will be excluded from the Board.
65 pro-independence deputies: 31 JxCAT (without Puigdemont or the other two escaped councilors) + 30 ERC (without the two escaped to Brussels) + 4 CUP.

57 non-independentist deputies: 36 Cs + 17 PSC + 4 PP.

8 Catalonia in Comú.

Therefore, there would be a pro-independence majority to appoint president of the Bureau. On the other hand, the vote of the President of the Generalitat would have the following majority:
Majority for investiture
62 pro-independence deputies: 29 JxCAT (Sanchez and Forn prisoners could not vote either) + 29 ERC (Junqueras could not vote if the 4) 4 CUP is not free.
57 non-independentist deputies: 36 Cs + 17 PSC + 4 PP.
8 Catalonia in Comú.

In this last case, the constitutionalists plus the ‘commons’ would add 65, three deputies more than the 62 independentistas, with what the sovereignist investiture would be frustrated, something that is wanted to avoid making renounce part of the deputies that suppose a legal problem for get the most Only the abstention of the “commons” in the second round would allow it. Something that Xavier Domènech has always ruled out.

Rovira tries to convince Puigdemont that of the eight deputies that suppose a problem only two retain the act: the own Puigdemont and Junqueras, accepting Puigdemont that the republican could accede to the presidency, in spite of which ERC was not the party more voted. In this way, and running the list of six deputies, would be guaranteed always have 68 ‘able’ deputies. Even, could be run two other posts (Jordi Sànchez and another) and would still have 66 deputies, always one more than the 65 that would add the non-independence.

Legal maze
But all this is theory, because there is no precedent in Spain or Catalonia of such a situation.

Legal sources have ventured that there could be a situation of institutional blockade. For example, that the independentistas want to change the Parlament’s regulations, and that Cs and the rest of the groups appeal to the Constitutional Court. Or that the opposition alleges that the lists can not run because deputies who have not taken office by not going to the camera – the Brussels five – could not give up their status. And if there is no resignation there can be no relief.

And with 62 deputies who could not vote, the independence majority would fall by its own weight. Another lawsuit in sight. Therefore, the new majority in the Parliament will be elucidated more in the courts than in the House Plenary.

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