The Speaker of the Parliament, the Republican Roger Torrent, will be number three on the ERC list in the Barcelona constituency in the next Catalan elections. This was announced this Tuesday by the Catalan vice president and candidate of Esquerra for the Generalitat, Pere Aragonès, in a visit to Carme Forcadell in the Wad-Ras prison. The decision reveals a certain nervousness of the republicans, who want to avoid an eventual melee between Carles Puigdemont and Torrent after a legislature plagued by clashes between the two leaders.
Torrent, who has gone to prison accompanying Aragonese and the new number two of the Republicans -and also two for Barcelona-, Laura Vilagrà, told the press this Tuesday that it will be an honor for him to occupy that third place for the regions of Barcelona. This, despite the fact that the Republican leader was born in Gerona, where he was also mayor of Sarrià de Ter, his town, between 2007 and 2018.
In the last elections, held in December 2017 after the application of article 155 of the Constitution in Catalonia, Torrent obtained his seat as “number two” by Gerona accompanying the former councilor, now a prisoner, Dolors Bassa. However, in the 14-F elections, and given the insistent rumors that Puigdemont could lead the list of Junts for Gerona, Esquerra has chosen to transfer his candidacy.
Behind this decision is the Junts campaign against the president of the Parliament, which has been the target of repeated criticism for preventing, in compliance with the Law, that Puigdemont was invested “telematically” as president of the Generalitat since his escape in Waterloo (Belgium). Subsequently, the president of the Catalan chamber has also been accused by the neo-convergents of “leaving without a seat or vote” some leaders such as Puigdemont or Torra by applying judicial decisions and with the protection of the parliament’s lawyers.
This last matter even motivated former President Puigdemont to file an appeal before the constitutional Court in which he accused, in January 2019, Torrent and the Catalan Chamber Board of having violated his political rights. These attacks, added to the pull of Puigdemont in his homeland, would have been enough for Esquerra to cede the Gerona cartel to a less controversial name and secure Torrent’s seat in Barcelona, where Esquerra has good voting prospects.