21st January 2021
Salvador Illa
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Health minister to head socialist party in Catalan elections – and Cs party MP moves to PP

Spain’s current health minister Salvador Illa will become the socialist PSOE party’s presidential candidate in the elections to be held in Catalonia on 14 February. It comes after Miquel Iceta’s decision to step aside as the Catalan Socialists (PSC) frontrunner. During an interview this week, the health minister had insisted that Iceta would still be the candidate.

Meanwhile, with just under two months before the Catalan elections are due to be held, Lorena Roldán has announced her decision to leave the centre-right Ciudadanos (Cs) party to join the right-wing People’s Party (PP), after what she called a ‘long and difficult process’.

Roldán was elected Cs frontrunner for the 14 February election before the party leadership chose Carlos Carrizosa for that position.

Salvador Illa
Health Minister Salvador Illa in the Spanish Congress on 15 October 2020. (Congreso.es)

Roldán has said that there are ‘certain decisions made by the party’s permanent executive, many of which are made unilaterally, that deviate from the party’s essence’. The politician has also resigned from the Senate, although it is not yet clear if she will be leaving the Catalan Parliament.

There are 135 seats in the Catalan Parliament – with 68 required for an overall majority. The presidential candidates for each party in the Catalan elections are now as follows:

  • Pere Aragonès for the Esquerra Republicana (ERC) party. The head of the ERC party, Oriol Junqueras, is still in prison for his role in the 2017 Catalan independence referendum. Aragonès is also the current ‘interim president’ of the Catalan government, following the banning from office of Quim Torra in September. The ERC currently hold 32 seats in the Catalan Parliament.
  • Carlos Carrizosa for the Ciudadanos (Cs) party, currently with 36 seats.
  • Laura Borràs for the Junts per Catalunya (JxCat) party (still led by Carles Puigdemont, who is in exile in Belgium and now an MEP) – currently with 29 seats.
  • Salvador Illa for the Catalan Socialists (PSC) party. The PSC currently have 17 seats.
  • Jéssica Albiach for Catalunya en Comú-Podem (CatECP), with 8 seats.
  • Àngels Chacon for the PDeCAT party, currently with 5 seats.
  • Dolors Sabater for Candidatura d’Unitat Popular & Guanyem (CUP), currently with just 4 seats.
  • Alejandro Fernández for the People’s Party (PP). It is understood that Lorena Roldán will now become No.2 on the PP’s list of candidates. The PP currently hold just 4 seats in Catalonia.
  • Ignacio Garriga for the Vox party – currently not holding any seats in the Catalan Parliament.

ALSO READ: Spanish government secures 2021 Budget with ample majority

For all our reports on: Catalan Trial, verdicts and sentencing

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