A parliament in turmoil

Parliamentary groups push the rules of the chamber to allow passage of Referendum bill, opposition forces numerous House Committee deliberations

Tempers were frayed yesterday in the Catalan parliament with the opposition adopting an attitude of filibuster with constant interruptions, forcing meetings of the House Committee, requests for legal opinions and supporting paperwork and demands for reconsideration of decisions made by the House Speaker.

This was the scene in Parliament yesterday, especially the first five hours following the convening of the House at nine in the morning with the aim of granting urgency to the referendum law. A draft law which, as announced, would need only minutes of debate and approval in the plenary session at the request of two parliamentary pro-independence groups which in fact created two parallel realities with the opposition prepared to take full advantage of the all possible regulations beginning with the PSC’s attempt to refer the bill for a ruling from the Council of Statutory Guarantees, a step which, they knew minutes later, would become irrelevant once CUP and JxSí approved the use of article 81.3 by an absolute majority to table the bill.

Other issues followed such as posssible unauthorised publishing of the bill in the Parliamentary Gazette before the House had convened, a move by Catalunya Sí que es Pot to make the referendum non-binding, and the possibility of making ammendments to the bill which were almost all denied by the Speaker and the House Committee. The bill was formally presented at 7.30pm.

In her earlier presentation, JxSí spokesperson Marta Rovira lamented the necessity of tabling the bill as a matter of urgency stressing instead the right of Catalans to vote for their future.

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