Ernest Maragall leads the Republican Left triumph on the local level, and political prisoner Oriol Junqueras clinches three seats at the European Parliament with the Ara Republics coalition
Following up on the April 28 elections, Esquerra Republicana made history once again on May 26 with exceptional results in both the municipal and European elections, with more votes than ever. The Republican Left have won municipal elections in several key locations throughout the country for the first time since 1931, with two names standing out on a clearly Republican election night: Ernest Maragall and Oriol Junqueras.
Mr Maragall, who dedicated the victory in the Catalan capital to Mr Junqueras—imprisoned at Soto del Real jail in Madrid—led Esquerra’s success in the municipals, earning ten councillors for the party with the most votes in the city since 1931. “Barcelona will have a Republican mayor, a progressive, Republican Left of Catalonia mayor”, Maragall exclaimed before the party members who attended election night at the Estació del Nord in Barcelona.
“To make Barcelona the spearhead of the peaceful, democratic conquest of the right to self-determination in Catalonia, Barcelona will be what she is: strong, intelligent, free, the capital of Catalonia”, added the future mayor of the city, who vindicated the political prisoners, especially Mr Junqueras and Quim Forn, as well as party Secretary General Marta Rovira and the other exiles. He also recognised the efforts of their campaign rivals Ada Colau and Anna Saliente.
With almost 160,500 votes, Mr Maragall has thus brought Esquerra a historical result in Barcelona, leading the way for other cities. The Republicans have won in Lleida, Manresa, Blanes and tied in Tarragona. Overall there are more than 3,000 councillors, with over 800,000 voters throughout the country who have staked on Esquerra.
However, that evening’s Republican victory was not only local. It was also a victory at the European Parliament, where one of its seats will be taken up by a political prisoner. Oriol Junqueras and the Ara Repúbliques coalition won 3 seats, with more than 1,200,000 independentist and leftist votes throughout Spain. Diana Riba will accompany him in Brussels.
“Our victory is not only for the party but for the country. It is one more victory to usher the Republic and return dignity to every citizen in Catalonia”, insisted Catalan Vice-President Pere Aragonès, flanked by the Republican leadership. “We came to win and win and win, and we won and won and won”, concluded Mr Aragonés.