BARCELONA – As it stands, the Catalan elections will go ahead on February 14. However, it is not certain whether the Catalans really will go to the polls then. A final judgement may be issued just six days before polling.
Catalonia’s regional High Court (TSJC) this week upheld the original decree calling for elections on 14th February. This voided the Catalan government’s postponement to 30th May. But a final ruling could come as late as February 8 – just six days before voters go to the polls.
Catalonia Government finds February elections irresponsible
Catalonia is continuing with preparations for voting on 14th February. The Spanish newspaper El País wrote on Thursday that the Generalitat finds it irresponsible to hold elections while Spain is in the middle of the third corona wave. “People are forced to choose between the right to vote and the right to health.”
According to Catalan government forecasts, the number of ICU beds occupied will peak just three days before the election. With large numbers of Catalans in self-isolation or quarantine, a February election date could make voting difficult for many.
Moving elections is a ‘political game’
A rare agreement between parties at either end of the political spectrum saw them agree on a postponement. However, the decision to move the elections to 30th May met with objections, not least from the Partido Socialista Catalan (PSC). Some parties were of the opinion the elections were postponed not because of the pandemic, but for political reasons.
Minister of Health, Salvador Illa, leader of the socialist PSC will shortly step down as Minister to start his campaign. Research institute CIS’s recent poll shows the Catalan Socialists under Illa would win the February 14 election with 23.9% of the vote. The second most-voted party would be ERC (the Catalan Republican Left) with 20.6%.