Borràs and Turull, an ill-fated marriage of convenience to direct JxCat

A new stage begins in Junts per Catalunya with the replacement of the main leaders and, in particular, the move to the side of its main promoter, former president Carles Puigdemont. Two years after the creation of this new political space in the postconvergent orbit, Puigdemont He leaves office and so does his right-hand man, the until now general secretary Jordi Sànchez.

With the agreement between president of parliamentLaura Borràs, and the exconseller and former political prisoner Jordi Turull, announced at the beginning of the week, moves away from the possibility of an open confrontation for control of the match. The relay will be made official in the next Congress, the June 4. But the differences between the two figures and the sectors they represent do not suggest that the turbulence in the direction of the formation will end, which is still looking for its place in the spectrum of parties after the transformation of the post-convergent space in recent years.

The joint candidacy avoids primaries that would have further fractured the party

The tandem Turull-Borràs it has been forged after weeks of negotiations and with uncertainty as to whether it would really come to pass. A priori, Turull, a party man with decades of experience in the CDC, has the majority support of the apparatus of institutional charges, but Borràs triumphs among the bases and has great popular support. The joint candidacy unifies these supports and avoids primaries that could have fractured the party even more, but it also raises questions about the line that the formation will follow and if there will be a fit between the two figures, with very different profiles.

Borràs, who will be the new president of the party, has forced the reinforcement of this figure so that he has shared responsibilities with the general secretary. She has thus managed to overcome the proposal included in the manifesto promoted by the Turulista ranks that remained in a symbolic presidency, as usual. This change will imply modifying the statutes.

In order to sign the agreement, the president of the Parlament also wanted to ensure two other conditions: subjecting the government agreements in the Generalitat -with ERC- and in the Diputació de Barcelona -with the PSC- to an audit and placing a secretary of organization close to her. Will be David TorrentMosso d’Esquadra on leave of absence and councilor in Badalona.

It remains to be seen whether the tandem that will begin to lead the party in June will be able to reach agreements regarding the major issues that mark current affairs in Catalonia, such as JxCat’s own role in the Govern and relations with the Government, questions about the which have already had differences by the opposite sectors that they lead. For now, just two days after the officialization of the candidacythe leadership has already decided to definitively distance itself from the agreement due to the modification of the Language Policy Law, one of the issues that the party had pending and where it seems that the Borràs sector would have prevailed.

Jordi Turull, from “plumber” to general secretary

Jordi Turull (Parets del Vallès, 1966) belongs to the pragmatic sector of the party, where most of the leaders who had been in the old Convergència are included. A lifelong man of the party, Turull entered the Government as Minister of the Presidency months before 1-O. He had a track record of years with important roles both within the party and the parliamentary group, of which he was first spokesperson and then president.

Turull has had prominent roles in the party, in the parliamentary group and in the Government

His work within the formation, not very visible in the media but large and constant, has earned him to be considered one of the “plumbers” of the formation, as it is known in political jargon. A militant since 1983 in the old CDC, first in the youth and then in the formation as such, he is in favor of JxCat governing and was personally involved in the negotiations to achieve the current coalition with ERC, a year ago.

With a liberal profile, in addition to Minister of the Presidency, he was spokesman for the Government of Carles Puigdemont in the last months of the legislature, before the application of 155. Until now he was one of the four vice presidents of the party. With his ascension to secretary general he regains his presence in the political front line, which he had remained in the background during his imprisonment and subsequent pardon.

In 2017 it was the first time that he began to gain public notoriety with the positions in the Government and the attempt to be sworn in as president of the Generalitat after the post-155 elections. A step forward that was cut short by a failed first investiture due to the CUP’s controversial refusal to vote ‘yes’ and a second one that no longer took place due to the imprisonment order that the Supreme Court issued the following day, frustrating the second round of the vote that the presidency of the Generalitat could have given him. Five years later, four of them in prison, Turull returns to the forefront of politics, making important transfers to the other powerful wing of his party, the one headed by Borràs.

Laura Borràs, an academic at the head of the party

Borràs has been a councilor and spokesperson for JxCat in Madrid

Unlike Turull, Laura Borras (Barcelona, ​​1970) entered politics in 2017 as an independent and represents the sector of the party with a unilateralist discourse and less in favor of governing. With a degree in Catalan Philology and a doctorate in Romance Philology from the University of Barcelona (UB), Borràs was mainly dedicated to teaching and university research.

In 2013 she was appointed director of the Institution of Catalan Letters by the then Minister of Culture, Ferran Mascarell, a position he held until 2017. At this stage, he currently has a case open in the Supreme Court for an alleged division of contracts and is awaiting the opening of an oral trial, something that could cost him the position of president of the Parliament and also the seat, although the answer that the independence movement will give when the trial begins is not clear. According to an article in the chamber’s regulations, the member who is tried for corruption will have to leave his functions, but Junts, ERC and the CUP have not yet agreed on what they will do about it.

Borràs began a meteoric rise in politics in 2017. He appeared on the JxCat lists for the Parliament elections as an independent, in what was the embryo of the current party. Once elected deputy, the then president Quim Torra appointed her Minister of Culture, although it was a fleeting mandate (2018-2019). She left him to go to Madrid, where she was a deputy in Congress and spokesperson for the JxCat group until the day before the start of the 13th legislature of the Parliament, in March 2021.

Since then she has been the president of the chamber, a position she chose ahead of being vice president of the Government. As a real candidate for the presidency of the Generalitat in the 14-F elections -Puigdemont symbolically held first place-, Borràs would have had to assume the vice-presidency, but his reluctance to agree with the ERC and the greater visibility at the head of the Parlament led him to decline the position. Within the party, until now she occupied the secretariat for rights and freedoms.

Borràs defends more unilateral positions in terms of the party’s actions, both with respect to the State and with the rest of the formations, including CKD. His constant flirtation with disobedience has been questioned on several occasions, most recently the management of the Pau Juvillà case and the withdrawal of his seat. Borràs had assured that this would not happen, unlike what his predecessor, Roger Torrent, had done with Quim Torra’s seat. Some statements that were discredited after the act was effectively withdrawn, despite attempts to build a media story that would deny it.

The difference both in the speech and in the positions of both leaders make us foresee a complicated tandem while with the new structure of the party the decisions will be distributed 50%.

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