The European Free Alliance (EFA) congratulates its Catalan independentist member party Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya (ERC) for winning extra seats in the Catalan Parliament. The absolute majority achieved by independentist parties and the record turnout at elections on December 21st reconfirm the Catalan peoples’ will for independence. EFA demands the immediate release of ERC leader and former Vice-President of the Generalitat Oriol Junqueras and the lift of Article 155.
Under exceptionally difficult circumstances the independentist bloc (JunxtspC-ERC-CUP) kept a clear majority of 70 seats in the Catalan Parliament, increasing its votes compared to 2015. Spanish parties further lose foothold in Catalonia with the PP shrinking to 3 seats out of a total of 135. Consequently, Rajoy’s party is not able to form a group in the Catalan Parliament.
From Barcelona, EFA President François Alfonsi analyses the situation stating: “The defeat of the PP brings an end to the Article 155 direct rule. They called for elections and lost. All political prisoners must return home as elected members of the New Catalan Parliament must start forming a new government.
“The EU should draw lessons from ignoring the Catalan reality. The EU must help those Member States affected by like Poland, Hungary and Spain to return to the path of respect for democratic values. Human rights and democracy are never an internal affair”
An EFA delegation visited the poll stations in Barcelona as international election observers. The delegation, lead by EFA MEPs Mark Demesmaeker and Sander Loones (N-VA), concluded that the election day itself was conducted with serenity and dignity. However, the weeks preceding the elections were tainted by unequal opportunities such as limiting the press, arresting candidates... The people of Catalonia have expressed themselves in a peaceful election, on a working day, mere days ahead of Christmas, with a record turnout. The Catalan Republic proclaimed in October is once again validated by its citizens. Democracy, self-determination and the will of the people has and will prevail.