28th September 2023
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Former mayor Xavier Trias wins in Barcelona, but can he become mayor again?

Trias per Barcelona, the Catalan pro-independence group of former Barcelona mayor, Xavier Trias, won 11 seats in the city’s council elections on Sunday, ahead of the Catalan Socialists (PSC) with 10 and incumbent mayor Ada Colau’s Barcelona En Comú with 9 seats. ALSO READ: Spain’s right-wing make significant gains in local and regional elections.

The Esquerra Republicana (ERC) ended up with 5 councillors, the right-wing People’s Party (PP) with 4 and far-right Vox on 2, the first time they have secured local government representation in Barcelona. 

The ‘centre-right’, pro-independence Trias was mayor in Barcelona from 2011 until 2015, before being replaced by left-wing Colau for the last eight years. ALSO READ: Opinion: three women in Spanish politics – No.1 Ada Colau: agent of change.

Despite Trias winning the poll, it is not yet clear who will succeed in commanding a majority in the 41-member Barcelona City Council chamber and become the elected mayor. Jaume Collboni of the PSC is likely to try and also form a majority through an alliance with Barcelona En Comú and ERC. He was Colau’s deputy mayor in the last council and has said that he is ‘not ruling anything out’.

Trias, who has the backing of the Catalan pro-independence party of Junts per Catalunya (JxCat), founded by former Catalan president Carles Puigdemont, addressed jubilant supporters on Sunday night as it became clear that he would emerge on top.

Residents ‘will have a mayor who will work with everyone and will try to make Barcelona better,’ he said.

Colau, who now looks certain to be replaced as mayor after coming in third, said she was ‘proud to be mayor these past eight years’.

‘We came to change the agenda, change priorities, show that the impossible can be done,’ she told her supporters. 

Colau called on the PSC and ERC to enter talks over the formation of a ‘progressive’ local government. 

Ernest Maragall, Esquerra’s candidate for mayor, dropped to fourth place after topping the poll four years ago. 

‘What we must do now is make ourselves available to the city,’ Maragall said. ‘We will continue to put all our proposals for progress on the table.’

The right-wing PP, led by Daniel Sirera in Barcelona, doubled their representation in city hall, winning four seats on the council. The far-right Vox group, led by Gonzalo de Oro, picked up two council seats for the first time. 

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