Esquerra’s leadership again proposes Pere Aragonès as the candidate to preside over the Catalan Generalitat government.

Party leader Oriol Junqueras says “he is the best president and the best candidate for the country,” and Pere Aragonès considers it “an honour and a privilege” to receive the endorsement of the party leadership to aspire to a second term

ERC leader Oriol Junqueras announced on Saturday before the party’s National Council gathered in Barcelona that the leadership has once again selected Pere Aragonès as the party’s presidential candidate. President Aragonès will therefore run for a second term in office.

In his address, Oriol Junqueras stressed that the repression has in no case been able to subdue the party, nor will it. After recalling the fear that ERC strikes among the Spanish state’s powers that be, the leader boasted that the repression will not prevent ERC from making decisions “when the time comes. And the time has come to choose a candidate for re-election.”

Mr Junqueras explained why Pere Aragonès had been nominated as the candidate in 2021, and after recalling that repression subsists, evidenced by the fact that the party’s Secretary General is still in exile and he himself remains disqualified, he recalled the strengths of the President of the Generalitat in leading the government.

“Since we are certain that Pere Aragonès is the best president for the country and the best candidate to run again, we propose him today. And it is with pride we do so here, directly before you all,” said Mr Junqueras amid the applause of more than 200 National Council members gathered in the auditorium of the Official College of Architects of Catalonia.

He also asked them to crown the first major republican transformation with a second term that will lead the country to the threshold of Horizon 2030, work on which has already begun. “He is the best president of Catalonia and the best candidate for the presidency,” he insisted.

Aragonès wants another four years

Pere Aragonès will place all his energy, determination, ideas and experience into continuing the leadership of the country in a new legislature. “It is an honour and a privilege that the national executive has proposed me as a candidate, by the instruments and the process that pertains to it. I am at your disposal, with all of you at my side, to continue to pave the way and to be able to complete the labour of government in a second legislature,” thus showing his willingness to give his all for another four years, to be able to complete all the work started this term.

We will hold an internationally recognized referendum on the independence of Catalonia
Pere Aragonès President of the Catalan Government

He also valued the work done by the government since the investiture three years ago, highlighting the creation of opportunities for everyone everywhere, such as free I2 pre-school, the promotion of public housing, the energy transition, reindustrialization, the promotion of the research and knowledge ecosystem, the transfer of suburban and commuter train services, and the progress of the Catalan language in the audiovisual field.

Regarding this point, he remarked that “we have placed the country’s language and culture at the centre of the political debate. We want our language in Catalonia to have the same opportunities as all the languages around us,” he said. Mr Aragonès called for the need to feel pride in the country and in the work done over the years.

For Mr Aragonès, being the president of Catalonia is the greatest honour that any citizen can feel, and at the same time a great responsibility that he means to continue taking on, also thanking the collective project of over 90 years of history that Esquerra Republicana represents.

Mr Aragonès valued the party’s commitment to social justice, republicanism and national liberty, from council level right up to Catalonia’s Generalitat government. He also holds in high esteem the red republican thread, and having managed to turn into reality what seemed impossible, as in the case of the Amnesty Law: “We have forced the state to move from repression to negotiation. We secured the release of political prisoners and the elimination of the crime of sedition,” he recalled.

He also stressed that “in the same way that yesterday they said that amnesty was impossible, now they say the same of the referendum. And if in so many cases, we were told they were impossible, we have now made them possible, and we will hold an internationally recognized referendum on the independence of Catalonia.”

Mr Aragonès guaranteed that he is strong enough to continue leading Catalonia because he is flanked by people who love the country more than anything, like Oriol Junqueras and Secretary General Marta Rovira, a great present and future asset for Esquerra and for Catalonia. “The aim of [Spain’s] repression was to leave ERC without leadership. That is why the most convicted of all those convicted was Oriol Junqueras. I want to highlight the asset that Oriol Junqueras and Marta Rovira represent,” said Mr Aragonès amid applause from the audience.

For Mr Aragonès, it is essential to place our trust in the people, in their talent and effort, as well as shaking up, transforming and breaking with inertia, and at the same time, persevere and show resolution. That is the objective of the president of the Generalitat for the rest of the present term and the next.

Thus, Pere Aragonès is convinced that victory will come, because when Esquerra wins, Catalonia wins. “We face many challenges, and we have to face them with all our tools at hand. I am convinced that in the next elections, Esquerra Republicana will win again, because by winning, Catalonia will win,” he concluded.