EFA Statement on the Upcoming Catalan Election
On Sunday 14 February, Catalan voters head to the polls to decide on a new Catalonian government. Sunday’s vote represents an opportunity for Catalonia to bring in a new era of progressive and open dialogue on Catalonia’s future.
The current Catalan government is a coalition of pro-independence parties. With a clear political mandate for independence, the importance of continued support for such parties, including EFA members Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya (ERC), cannot be underestimated.
EFA calls on the Spanish state to recognise the voice of Catalonia and its right to self-determination. Pro-independence voters cannot be disenfranchised by having their political mandate ignored for another 4 years. EFA demands the release of the Catalan leaders jailed for the self-determination referendum on 1st October 2017, and amnesty for all Catalan elected politicians and civil society leaders sentenced for carrying out their democratic mandate and for their commitment to democracy. Organising a referendum and letting people vote cannot be a criminal offence in a functioning democracy.
Tensions will not be resolved with political trials and further repression, but through dialogue, allowing for democratic and political solutions to be found. EFA calls on the European institutions, as well as the wider international community, to support a process of dialogue.
Lorena Lopez de Lacalle, President of EFA, said:
‘Political prisoners and exiles are not an indiactor of a truly democratic state by European standards. We call on the EU to be proactive and contribute to a settlement of the Catalan question.’
Jordi Solé, EFA MEP for Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya, added:
‘The Catalan government, and the independence movement, needs new leadership that is progressive and can act as the catalyst for a broad wave towards independence. It is a wave that requires amnesty and respect for self-determination. The only party that can bring that change is ERC. ERC turns 90 years old next month: it has been 80 years since we won an election in the Catalan parliament, and we now have a historical opportunity to win again, for the sake of freedom, democracy, and fairness for our society.’