The pro-independence list for the plebiscitary elections on September 27th that has been agreed between Convergència Democràtica de Catalunya (CDC) and Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya (ERC) with the support of the pro-independence groups is beginning to take shape. The agreement was reached during the day of Tuesday 15th July 2015 and centred on the route for Catalan Independence both before and after the 27S election.
Once it had been decided which positions Artur Mas and Oriol Junqueras would occupy in the lists that for Barcelona Province the candidacy, fourth and fifth respectively, the names that would fill the first three spaces were agreed. Apart from anything else, the choice of Raül Romeva, Carme Forcadell and Muriel Casals is a testament to the plural and transversal character of the list, which is clearly oriented towards the left-wing voter.
The leaders of CDC and ERC met on the morning of Wednesday July 15th at the Palau de la Generalitat with the ex-Euro MP for ICV, the former President of the ANC and the President of Òmnium Cultural in order formalise the order of the list. After the meeting, the three of them declared that they were "very pleased to accept this collective commitment" at "an exceptional moment" in which "we have the future in our hands". The big news is, without doubt, the presence of Raül Romeva as number one in the list. Romeva is a politician who is currently not active but comes from left-wing social activism and has cut his teeth in European politics. Consequently, he is capable of playing a vital role in blocking the left-wing coalition, based around Podemos, as well as giving the process the international projection it will need if the Yes vote wins on September 27th.
The truth is that the ex-ICV member, who left the party because of differences on the route map towards Catalan independence, doesn't fit the stereotypical image of the typical pro-independence activist that you might find amongst the ranks of CDC or ERC. This means he represents the transversality of the independence process very well. Furthermore, he has everyone's support. During his time as MEP, he developed friendship with Oriol Junqueras but he has never pulled his punches when criticising the CiU-run government.
Behind him come Carme Forcadell and Muriel Casals at numers two and three respectively. Every year since September 11th 2012, the organisations headed by the two women, particularly the ANC, have between them managed to mobilise more the 1.5 million people calling for a Catalan state. Strangely, both women have a background in left-wing politics as Carme Forcadell is a member of ERC and Muriel Casals was a PSUC activist in her youth.
Positions six and seven in the list for Barcelona, as well as the first positions in the candidacies for Girona, Tarragona and Lleida, will also be filled by representatives from civil society.In fact, Eduardo Reyes of Súmate, the Spanish-speaking group in favour of independence, has just been confirmed as number six and the other places are likely to be filled by figures such as Germà Bel, Xavier Sala Martin, Santiago Vidal and Salvador Cardús amongst others.
Behind them come the rest of the representatives of CDC and ERC, who will divided the list on a roughly 60-40 basis within which ex-Unió members Demòcrates de Catalunya (DC) and the pro-independence escision from PSC, Moviment d'Esquerres (MES) will also present candidates.The same proportion of posts will be shared by the two parties once the government, in which Artur Mas will be President and Oriol Junqueras Vice-President, is constituted. It is also likely that, if the candidacy wins, the Presidency of Parliament would be assigned to ERC whilst CDC would head the parliamentary group.
Other elements of the route map for Catalan independence remain to be confirmed. It is likely that the process would begin with a declaration of the intention to become independent from Spain, which would followed by a period of 18 months during which the complete disconnection will take place, as was proposed by Artur Mas on November 25th 2014 and agreed to by CDC and ERC on March 30th 2015. There will be a number of intermediary stages every six months or so, which will serve to move the process forward with aplication of measures such as the judicial transition or the introduction of the Catalan tax and social security system, which will replace their Spanish predecessors.
It is worth pointing out that 18 months is considered the maximum before declaring full independence so a declaration considerably earlier is definitely envisaged.