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Esquerra is asking Borràs to resign over alleged embezzlement

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The President of the Parliament, Laura Borrás, and the President of the Generalitat, Pere Aragonès, last Wednesday at the Parliament of Catalonia in Barcelona.Quique Garcia (EFE)

The judicial accountant on the matter of contract division in the Institució de les Lletres Catalanes is not only a candidate for Laura Borràs, President of Parliament, but also for the Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya. The rules of procedure of the autonomous chamber stipulate that the executive board must withdraw the right of representation from the person concerned after the opening of a hearing for a corruption offence. The big question is what the Republicans, who have always been cautious on this issue, will do. The former President of the Catalan Parliament, Carme Forcadell, one of the great references within the ERC, went a step further this Thursday and made it very clear that Borràs should resign and urged him not only to think about his personal situation , but also about the Parliament.

“In that case, she shouldn’t think about herself, but about the reputation of the institution,” she countered. Forcadell in an interview about the program here Cuni, in BE Catalonia, when asked whether Borràs should resign. Former President of Parliament, convicted at trial process and later pardoned by the government, she accepted that her successor was “in a very complicated situation” but insisted that there could be no shadow of a doubt as to the “honesty” of the independence movement.

Forcadell has been keen to link the case of the speaker of Parliament – whom the Supreme Court of Catalonia (TSJC) indicted this week with various corruption-related crimes – and the “repressive” maneuvers against independence of the secessionists he constantly denounces. An idea that goes in the opposite direction to what Borràs and his Junts party defend. The formation’s spokesman, Josep Rius, closed ranks this Thursday, arguing that the case of the formation’s leader was “once again under the repressive sword of the state.”

Former Generalitat President Quim Torra also appeared in her defense this Thursday. “It seems that only the political consequences of the Borràs trial mattered; It is more important to me that his honor is attacked,” he wrote on Twitter. And former MP Lluís Llach did the same: “From now on I’ll say that I’m with Borràs, whatever they accuse her of, and prove it with the tricks that prove it.”

There are still weeks, possibly after the summer, when the judicial moment will come when the table of Parliament will have to decide on Borràs’ future. Article 25.4 of the regulation states that if MPs are charged “with crimes of corruption”, the executive board “must consent to the suspension of parliamentary rights and duties” once the order to open a hearing is communicated.

The Junts President’s defense could appeal the TSJC’s indictment (it would be the second time) and that would allow her to gain a few days but little else. Now the prosecutor has 10 days to present their charges (if the case, the crimes and the sentence sought were known) and after that the Catalan Supreme Court must issue the order to open a hearing, for which there is no fixed time limit.

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At the ERC, the debate about what to do then is open and there are different sensitivities. Dropping it would undoubtedly be the most critical moment of the legislature and could topple the government. Republicans believe from the start that any open struggle with other pro-independence advocates will punish them and that it will be very difficult to make it clear that Borràs can fall for a case of busting government contracts and not because of the internal struggle of secessionism. Hence the interest in establishing a history that separates the oppression from the cause of embezzlement.

The same article states that if there is any doubt about the nature of the offense or about the incompatibility regime applicable during the suspension, “the opinion of the Commission of the Statute for Members is required”. The ERC knows that it’s only a matter of time before two members of its ranks (Lluís Salvador and group leader Josep María Jové) end up going through the same situation as Borràs.

The two Republicans are also close to hearings as they are accused of embezzling public funds in organizing the referendum when they both held key positions in the economic vice presidency led by Oriol Junqueras. They were processed by the TJSC on April 26 last year. For the judiciary, these two cases, like that of Borràs, are called embezzlement, among other crimes. However, within the framework of the independence movement, Juvé and Salvador acted correctly by fulfilling the “political mandate” to hold the referendum. ERC would then have to justify its position in each of the scenarios. Or, in the best-case scenario for junts, court and parliament time coincide and the three cases must be voted on simultaneously.

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Source elpais.com

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