A constitutional participatory process which will be open to all citizens, to prepare the ground for the future Catalan constitution.[dropcap color=”black”]T[/dropcap]he pro-independence majority in Catalonia has approved the draft resolution with which it solemnly declares the “beginning of the creation of the independent Catalan state as a republic”, a motion that the they intend to use as a starting point in the process to break off the Spanish State.
The votes of Junts pel Sí (62) and CUP (10) have been sufficient for green-lighting the motion.
After the reading of the resolution, the Parliament has voted each of the points of the motion and by ordinary method, although opposition groups called for a voice vote of all deputies.
In total there have been ten votes, one for each point of the resolution, plus an annex.
At the end of voting, the 11 members of the PP, the party of the Spanish government, pulled out Catalan and Spanish flags, while 11 MPs of Catalonia’s Sí que Es Pot have exhibited posters that advocated a call for a “referendum”.
The Spanish Government initiates Appeal Process
From this moment and as the central government warned it has begun its appeal at the Spanish Constitutional Court to suspend the motion. The Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy, is expected to have an institutional statement.
Rajoy’s office has said that his call for an extraordinary Council of Ministers will serve as a formal event to submit to the Court the appeal documents. The submission will be made on Wednesday morning, although the Prime Minister has already initiated contacts with the leaders of the opposition.
Rajoy has also spoken with the leader of the Socialist Party of Spain (PSOE), Pedro Sanchez, to meet again in the Palacio de la Moncloa, although a date has not been set.
The Government intends to keep all parties permanently informed of the steps it takes from now on.
Catalonian Constitutional Process to Begin in 30 days
The text approved in the Catalonian Parliament provides that officials must begin the processing of the “laws of the constitutional process, social security and public finances” within a period of 30 days and proclaims the “opening of a constitutional participatory process which will be open to all citizens, to prepare the ground for the future Catalan constitution. ”
The first of the nine points of the resolution note that the “democratic mandate” of the Catalan elections from 27 September, which won the pro-independence parties a “majority of seats” and votes justifies the opening of a constitutional process.
One of the points of the resolution that has caused more controversy is the one that states that “the Parliament and the process of democratic disconnection shall not be subject to the decisions of the institutions of the Spanish State, including the Constitutional Court.”
The text states that the Court is a “discredited body without competence” since it issued a ruling in June 2010 in which it trimmed the Statute approved by the referendum of 2006.
Moreover, the resolution explicitly urges the new Government to “fulfill only those standards or mandates” of the Parliament, to “shield the fundamental rights that may be affected by decisions of the institutions of the Spanish State”.
Finally, it calls for willingness to begin negotiations to “enforce the democratic mandate to create an independent Catalan State as a republic” after sending the text to the Spanish State, the European Union and the international community.
The resolution includes an annex, added as an amendment by JxS and CUP, in order to “shield” basic rights in energy, housing, health, education, civil liberties, local authorities and a plan of debt management.
The current state of affairs is perhaps the most crucial for the Catalan and Spanish political landscape, which will mark the final passing of a sovereignty process undertaken by the Catalonian president, Artur Mas, almost four years ago.
What happens now?
From here the game of the unknowns has been opened.
On Tuesday, a debate and vote on the full investiture of Artur Mas will take place.
On Wednesday, the Spanish Government will meet to approve the appeal against the independence motion which will then submit to the Constitutional Court. The Government will request a precautionary suspension of the motion.
The Constitutional Court may see the appeal on Wednesday or Thursday. It will host the appeal and most likely suspend the motion passed in the Catalonian Parliament.
On Thursday, the Catalonian Parliament plans to hold the second full investiture vote. Should there not be an agreement about who is declared President, the Parliament could reserve the right to not calling for a new session.
If a President is not elected by a minimum of 64 votes, the President of Parliament must submit the names of new candidates in succession within a maximum period of two months. The President of the Parliament can open new talks with the groups to find out if there is another candidate who can get the necessary majority.
On Sunday December 20, general elections will be held in Spain. It is expected that a new political party takes over the Government in Madrid as the PP has lost all confidence among Spanish people.
On Sunday January 10, and if there has not been an election for the office of Catalonian President, the Parliament will call for new elections which would take lace in March.