Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Catalan President's response to Spanish Constitutional Court ruling

Originally published on Vilaweb on May 8, 2013

President Mas responds to the Constitutional Court: “The path chosen by the people will continue”

“We are now at the point we are because of the things that happened that time,” warned the President [perhaps referring to the previous Constitutional Court ruling against the Statute of Catalonia in June of 2010]

“This is the path that the people have decided on. We will continue on that path while the people want Catalonia to continue on that path. While the majority of the people of Catalonia, as large a majority as is possible, wishes to continue on this path, the obligation of the institutions is to proceed accordingly, to continue on the planned path.” This is how the President of the Catalan Government, Artur Mas, responded, shortly after hearing that the Spanish Constitutional Court had provisionally suspended the Declaration of Sovereignty approved by the Catalan Parliament last January 23.

Mas found the appeal quite unusual. “But, not only that, it's highly worrying and profoundly disappointing. A parliament is the democratic expression of a people after an election. And the people decided on majorities in line with the right to decide and national transition. The parliament has to be able to make political pronouncements. We have not approved here any law or any unilateral declaration of independence. We have approved a political declaration that is based on the popular will as it was expressed at the ballot boxes. This questions the will expressed at the ballot boxes. I hope that the Constitutional Court will have enough wisdom when resolving the appeals presented by the Catalan institutions because we are in the territory of political declarations.”

He continues, “The appeal is a product of the obsession of the Spanish government to abort the majority will of the Catalan people. One thing is the Spanish Government and another thing is the Constitutional Court. The Spanish Government wants to abort the process, but the Constitutional Court is the arbiter and we demand equal treatment. The message expressed at the ballot boxes was sovereignty and the right to decide.”

“I hope that our position will be widely shared,” he added. “We demand respect for the democratic will expressed at the ballot boxes. We have already had a very negative experience of a statute that was voted on, went through the Constitutional Court, ended up whittled down, and which provoked reactions on the street that brought about an election. And that should be taken note of. The people of Catalonia will not accept that the popular will peacefully expressed be aborted. There is no violence and no totalitarianism here, no one has been attacked.”

And he finished up with, “We must continue on our path with the principles of radical democracy, and a peaceful and constructive attitude. For us, no matter what they do, we will not stop dialoguing. We want to follow this path in an open and constructive way, basing it on dialogue.”

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