Carles Puigdemont, the exiled Catalan president and leader of the Catalan government during the 2017 independence bid, is expected to launch his new political party on July 25. The new group will be a formation from previously existing entities. Junts per Catalunya, one of the ruling partners in the current Catalan government, is aiming to hold an assembly for the creation of the new political party on July 25, with Puigdemont as leader.
Sources from JxCat confirmed that July 25 is one of the possible dates for the new formation to be formally established. This date coincides with the “decisive” National Council of the Partit Demòcrata Europeu Català (PDeCAT) group, which will be held on 25-26 July, to reorganize the entity. In December 2019, 85% of PDeCAT’s National Council members voted in favor of joining Junts per Catalunya under Puigdemont’s leadership.
PDeCAT is the successor to the Catalonia’s historic center-right CDC party that ruled Catalonia for over 20 years under the presidency of Jordi Pujol, and had previously announced its intentions to become a part of pro-independence JxCat some days before that National Council vote. If Carles Puigdemont’s party goes ahead with the July 25 date, it would mean the group will not wait for an agreement to be reached with David Bonvehí’s PDeCAT, with whom negotiations had been ongoing for weeks.
Puigdemont could present the new party in the coming days and finalize its strategy without waiting for an agreement between Bonvehí and the president of La Crida, Jordi Sànchez, one of the pro-independence leaders jailed for their role in the 2017 independence bid. PDeCAT and JxCat members called in early June for Puigdemont to finalize the plans for the new party before the end of July. Early elections are expected in Catalonia before the end of the year.
The December debate saw some critics complain of insufficient time to fully consider the move as well as an unsuccessful motion to postpone the vote. A total of 212 votes were cast, with 182 in favor of joining Puigdemont’s party, 2 against the move, and 28 blank votes.
JxCat was originally formed as an electoral alliance of PDeCat that included candidates from the party but also independents to contest the 2017 Catalan election, with Puigdemont as the main candidate. In July 2018, JxCat was registered as a political party. JxCat’s electoral success under Puigdemont, who continues in exile in Belgium where he went following the failed independence bid in 2017, has led to a fall in support for PDeCAT as well as certain tensions between the leaders of both groups.