Opposing Catalonia’s independence as its main priority, the Ciudadanos (Cs) party (‘Citizens’ in English) is running in the 28 April general election on a message that has aimed to link the ruling Socialists (PSOE) with the parties in favour of a Catalan Republic.
Set up in Catalonia in 2006, the supposedly centre-right (although seen as more right) Ciudadanos (Cs) is the largest single party in the Catalan parliament, and it embraces a hardline anti-independence rhetoric that includes portraying the political leaders behind the 2017 independence bid as perpetrators of a coup.
ALSO READ: Focus on Ciudadanos: ‘weather vane’ to ‘dangerous friendships’
Since pro-independence parties backed Pedro Sánchez‘s successful bid to oust the conservative People’s Party (PP) last year, Cs claim they are allies, and even accuses the Spanish prime minister of being a collaborator in the supposed coup in Catalonia.
According to the party’s leader in Spain, Albert Rivera, should the Socialist party manage to hold on to power in Madrid after the election, it will be willing to pardon the pro-independence leaders currently on trial in the Supreme Court, if they are eventually convicted.
ALSO READ: Ciudadanos leaders remove yellow ribbons
‘Why should those who committed crimes go unpunished? Only one reason: to give a bunch of seats to Mr. Sánchez. There’s only one way to prevent this: to render those seats useless in making Sánchez president, and for us to govern,’ Rivera said recently.
Cs aspire to become the first party outside of the Socialists (PSOE) and the People’s Party (PP) to govern Spain in the 37 years since democracy returned to Spain. Yet, recent polls have not been kind to Cs, suggesting only marginally better results than in the last election.
ALSO READ: Clash over Catalonia in first election TV debate
With no single party likely to win enough of a majority in the Spanish parliament to form a government, finding common ground with other parties will be essential. However, Cs has ruled out a deal with the Socialists, and has set its sights on the PP.
ALSO READ: Iglesias the ‘referee’ in 2nd TV debate as others clash
Ciudadanos has an alliance with the PP in Spain’s southern region of Andalusia, which also depends on support from the far-right Vox party. However, Cs party officials have been reluctant to say whether they would be willing to repeat the triumvirate elsewhere.
ALSO READ: General Election focus: the PSOE party
ALSO READ: General Election focus: the Podemos party
ALSO READ: General Election focus: the PP party
ALSO READ: General Election focus: the Vox party
ALSO READ: General Election focus: the Esquerra Republicana (ERC) party
ALSO READ: General Election focus: the Junts per Catalunya (JxCat) party