Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya

Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya (ERC) translates as Republican Left of Catalonia. This is the party that governed the regional government during the 1930s under presidents Macià and Companys (executed by Franco in 1940). Since the end of the dictatorship it has stood firmly for Catalan independence. Between 2003 and 2010 it took part in a threeway coalition government with the Socialist Party and ICV (now part of Catalunya en Comú). This was the period during which the Autonomy Statute was negotiated. Esquerra finally refused to support it after it had been considerably watered down by the Spanish congress. As support for independence has risen, Esquerra has garnered increasing electoral strength in Catalonia. In 2015 it joined forces with Artur Mas and the former Convergencia to form Junts pel Sí, which went to on to win the elections and form the government that was ousted by Rajoy in late October 2017. Esquerra’s leader, Oriol Junqueras, was Catalan vicepresident at the time. He has been jailed provisionally under charges of rebellion and sedition in conjunction with the 1 October referendum and faces up to 30 years in prison.

Oriol Junqueras, in jail since  December 2017

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