TOWARDS THE PLEBISCITE ELECTION

Mas calls for concentrating Yes vote on joint list because it is what Madrid "fears"

Munté, Turull, and Rull will be CDC’s candidates in Barcelona, together with historic figures from Unió

ROGER MATEOS / ROGER TUGAS Cerdanyola del Vallès

With a brief speech that had an air of pre-campaign, yesterday Artur Mas spurred his fellow party members to lay it all on the line in the next two months ahead of the plebiscite elections set for 27 September. The address took place before Convergència’s national council, in Bellaterra, where the party approved the proposed list of CDC candidates for the electoral slate of Junts pel Sí (Together for Yes). Aware of the importance of achieving a majority --the closer to 68 MPs, the threshold of absolute majority in Parliament, the better--, the president of the Generalitat called for a concentration of the pro-independence vote on the unified list that CDC will share with ERC and figures from civil society, because this is what Madrid truly "fears".

Proof of this, he said, is "every threat, every insult, and every attempt at dirty play" that comes from Madrid. "They know that this is the list that represents Catalonia as a nation", he declared. Junts pel Sí will have to compete with the CUP for the more leftist-oriented Yes voter, and with Unió for those who have more doubts about a hasty independence process. It was a call addressed especially to those voters tempted to vote for the CUP on 27-S because "they dislike" the presence of CDC on the ticket, and to those leaning towards Unió due to "fear or uncertainty" about the process. "So that there is no confusion about the lists, this is the strong one, the list that can defend our nation better than any other, that will carry the most weight abroad, that can really stand strong". When the votes are counted on election night, he said, "there will be no nuances".

Meetings to approve names

With his speech, Mas ended a day full of meetings to finish polishing the list of CDC candidates for 27-S, as Ara.cat learned yesterday. Following him on this list will be Neus Munté, Vice-president of the government, Jordi Turull, president of the CiU parliamentary group, and Josep Rull, CDC’s general coordinator. They are followed by Neus Lloveras, mayor of Vilanova i la Geltrú, Marta Pascal, party spokesperson, and Lluís Corominas, vice-secretary general for institutional coordination. And finally there are two more ministers: Irene Rigau and Germà Gordó. There will be three in total, excluding Santi Vila, the last CDC member on the Girona slate.

The tenth position on the list for Barcelona will be taken by Antoni Castellà, the leader of the pro-independence former members of Unió who formed Demòcrates de Catalunya. He and Assumpció Laïlla are running in positions likely to ensure they get elected.  It won’t be as easy for Mercè Jou, Carles Prats (in Tarragona), and Elena Ribera (in Girona). In purely symbolic positions to close the lists there will be historic figures from Unió such as Raimon Carrasco --son of founder Manuel Carrasco i Formiguera--, Joan Rigol, and Núria de Gispert. Three mayors are the top CDC candidates in the lists for Junts pel Sí in the other constituencies: Carles Puigdemont in Girona, Albert Batet in Tarragona, and Albert Batalla in Lleida.

All August to seek volunteers

With the candidates from each party now chosen, the campaign managers of CDC, ERC, and the grassroots organizations want to take advantage of August to drum up support. Sources familiar with the meetings have revealed to this newspaper that next Wednesday a public event will be held in Barcelona’s Parc de la Ciutadella to present the slate of candidates and sound the starting signal for the pre-campaign. The event will feature speeches by the heads of the list and the first five Barcelona candidates.

The pre-campaign will continue online on social networks, and will spread  over the entire nation to reach the maximum possible number of municipalities. The plan is to create campaign committees in every region of Catalonia, with representatives from CDC, ERC, and the organizations, tasked with coordinating activities such as manning street stalls and signing-up volunteers, who will get involved in the campaign for 27-S without being affiliated with a party.

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