Spain: Salvador Illa’s Socialists Win in Catalonia

For the first time in 13 years, pro-independence supporters did not win a majority

The Socialist Party of Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez’s Socialist Party wins a landslide victory in Catalonia, Spain, with local government candidate Salvador Illa leading the way. The PSC won 45 seats against 35 for Carles Puigdemont’s independence party, Together for Catalonia, and the ERC (Republican Left Party, pro-independence), which won 20 seats against 33 in the previous election. Next are the People’s Party with 15 seats and Vox with 11 seats.

In any case, finding alliances to support the new Catalan leader will not be easy. Illa clearly wants to take this position. “I take that responsibility. Consequently, as soon as the Office of the Presidency of the Parliament is established, I will express my desire to present my candidacy for the post of President of the Generalitat (autonomous authority – ed.),” the winner said.

Either way, for the first time in 13 years, pro-independence parties in Catalonia have lost their majority in the local parliament. The parties Together for Catalonia, the Republican Left (to which outgoing governor Pere Aragonés belongs), and the Popular Unity Candidacy get a total of 59 seats out of the 135 that make up the Catalan Chamber.

Sanchez rejoiced at this success: “Congratulations to Salvador Illa on this historic result achieved in Catalonia. We socialists are once again the first force there. Starting today, Catalonia begins a new phase of improving the lives of citizens, expanding rights and strengthening coexistence. Catalonia is ready to make a new future a reality and open a period of hope.”

The groups Together for Catalonia and the ERC started the separatist process that culminated in the 2017 unilateral referendum, after which they declared Catalonia’s independence. Since then, Puigdemont has been living in exile and will return as soon as the Madrid government finalizes the amnesty law, on which trust in the Sanchez government is based. Puigdemont himself is a potential “crazy variable factor.” He has already talked about a “solid government of pure Catalan orientation,” and Aragonés has announced that he will send the ERC into opposition… The negotiations will be long…