Republican Left of Catalonia

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Republican Left of Catalonia
Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya
President Oriol Junqueras i Vies
Secretary-General Marta Rovira i Vergés
Founded March 19, 1931
Headquarters C/Calàbria, 166
08015 Barcelona, Spain
Ideology Catalan nationalism[1][2]
Catalan independence[3][4][5][6][7][8][9]
Left-wing nationalism[10][11][12]
Republicanism[13] Democratic Socialism
Political position Left-wing[14][15]
European affiliation European Free Alliance
European Parliament group The Greens–European Free Alliance
Colours Orange
Congress of Deputies
3 / 350
Spanish Senate
1 / 264
European Parliament
2 / 54
Parliament of Catalonia
21 / 135
Politics of Catalonia
Political parties

The Republican Left of Catalonia (Catalan: Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya, ERC; IPA: [əsˈkɛrə rəpubːɫiˈkanə ðə kətəˈɫuɲə]) is a left wing Catalan pro-independence political party in the Catalonia region of Spain.[16] It is also the main sponsor of the independence movement from France and Spain in the territories known among Catalan nationalists as Països Catalans. Occitan Republican Left, formed in 2008, acts as the Aranese section.

Its current president is Oriol Junqueras and its secretary-general is Marta Rovira.

Political principles and representation[edit]

Its basic political principles are defined in the Statement of Ideology approved at the 19th National Congress in 1993. This is organised into the three areas that give the organisation its name: Esquerra (commitment to the Left's agenda in the political debate), República (commitment to the Republican form of government vs. Spain's current constitutional monarchy) and Catalunya (Catalan independentism, which, as understood by ERC, comprises the Catalan Countries).

Despite having been one of the main forces behind the movement for amendment, the party eventually opposed the 2006 changes to the Catalan Statute of Autonomy to increase Catalonia's autonomy. It did so on the grounds that it did not do enough to increase Catalan independence. This caused a government crisis with its partners (specially with the Partit dels Socialistes de Catalunya, PSC) which led to an early election in 2006.

Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya has 21 seats in the Catalan Parliament, suffering a dramatic setback after the Catalan parliamentary election of 2010 and an equally dramatic gain in 2012, and one seat in the Balearic Parliament. Until 2010, it was one of the three coalition members of the tripartite left-wing Catalan Government, together with Socialists' Party of Catalonia (PSC) and Initiative for Catalonia Greens (ICV). The coalition was often uneasy due to tensions related to the new Statute of Autonomy of Catalonia. The snap election on November 25, 2012 saw ERC rise to a total of 21 seats in the Catalan Parliament.

Out of the Catalan countries, it has three seats (fifth largest group by seats) in the Spanish Parliament and two seats in the European Parliament.


Coat of Arms of Catalonia.svg
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Led by Francesc Macià and Lluís Companys, the party had done extremely well in the municipal elections of April 1931. On the day the election results were announced, they declared Catalonia would become an independent republic within a federal state. This was not exactly what had been agreed in the Pact of San Sebastián, so later that month they negotiated with the Madrid government that Macià would become president of the Generalitat of Catalonia.[17]

In 1934, led by Lluís Companys, the elected Catalan President, the party declared an independent Catalan Republic within the Spanish Federation proposed by Companys, following the entry of right-wing ministers of the Spanish Confederation of the Autonomous Right (CEDA) into the Government of the Spanish Republic, however the party leaders (including Companys) and all the Catalan Government (called Generalitat) were arrested and jailed for this, and special autonomy laws for Catalonia were suspended until 1936.

In 1936, at the dawn of the Spanish Civil War, ERC decided to become part of the Spanish Popular Front to contest that year's election, which it won. Esquerra became the leading force of the Popular Front in Catalonia and tried to maintain the unity of the Front in the face of growing tensions between the Workers' Party of Marxist Unification (POUM) and the Communist Party of Spain (PCE).

The party was declared illegal (along with all other participants in the Popular Front) by Francisco Franco after he came to power in 1939. The former president of the Catalan Generalitat, Lluís Companys, was arrested by German agents[citation needed] in collaboration with Vichy France, returned to Spain and executed in 1940.[citation needed]

The party is also federated with parties in the Balearic Islands and in Northern Catalonia in France, as well as with Republican Left of the Valencian Country in the Valencian Community. Except for their Balearic counterpart, none of the latter currently have any parliamentary representation in their respective territories, though they do have 8 municipal councillors in the Balearic Islands[18] and 6 councillors in the Valencian Community.[19]


  1. Francesc Macià (1931-1933)
  2. Lluís Companys (1933-1935)
  3. Carles Pi i Sunyer (1933-1935)
  4. Lluís Companys (1936-1940)
  5. Heribert Barrera (1993-1995)
  6. Jaume Campabadal (1995-1996)
  7. Jordi Carbonell (1996-2004)
  8. Josep-Lluís Carod-Rovira (2004-2008)
  9. Joan Puigcercós (2008-2011)
  10. Oriol Junqueras i Vies (2011-)

General Secretaries[edit]

  1. Joan Lluís Pujol i Font (March 1931 - April 1931)
  2. Josep Tarradellas (April 1931 - March 1932)
  3. Joan Tauler (March 1932 - 1938)
  4. Josep Tarradellas (1938 - 1957)
  5. Joan Sauret (1957 - 1976)
  6. Heribert Barrera (1976-1987)
  7. Joan Hortalà (1987-1989)
  8. Àngel Colom Colom (1989-1996)
  9. Josep-Lluís Carod-Rovira (1996-2004)
  10. Joan Puigcercós (2004-2008)
  11. Joan Ridao i Martín (2008-2011)
  12. Marta Rovira i Vergés (2011-)

Electoral results[edit]

Catalonian Parliament[edit]

Election year # of overall votes  % of overall vote # of overall seats won +/- Notes
1988 111,647 4.1 (#5)
6 / 135
1992 210,366 7.9 (#3)
11 / 135
Increase 5
1995 305,867 9.4 (#4)
13 / 135
Increase 2
1999 271,173 8.6 (#4)
12 / 135
Decrease 1
2003 544,324 16.4 (#3)
23 / 135
Increase 11
2006 416,355 14.0 (#3)
21 / 135
Decrease 2
2010 218,046 7.0 (#5)
10 / 135
Decrease 11
2012 496,292 13.7 (#2)
21 / 135
Increase 11

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Guibernau, Montserrat (2004), Catalan Nationalism: Francoism, transition and democracy, Routledge, p. 82 
  2. ^ Hargreaves, John (2000), Freedom for Catalonia?: Catalan Nationalism, Spanish Identity and the Barcelona Olympic Games, Cambridge University Press, p. 84 
  3. ^ Buffery; Marcer, Elisenda (2011), Historical Dictionary of the Catalans, Scarecrow Press, p. 198 
  4. ^ Paluzie, Elisenda (2010), "The costs and benefits of staying together: the Catalan case in Spain", The Political Economy of Inter-Regional Fiscal Flows: Measurement, Determinants and Effects on Country Stability (Edward Elgar Publishing): 367 
  5. ^ Hooghe, Liesbet; Marks, Gary; Schakel, Arjan H. (2010), The Rise of Regional Authority: A Comparative Study of 42 Democracies, Routledge, p. 194 
  6. ^ Schrijver, Frans (2006), Regionalism After Regionalisation: Spain, France and the United Kingdom, Vossiuspers, Amsterdam University Press, p. 112 
  7. ^ McLaren, Lauren M. (2008), Constructing Democracy in Southern Europe: A Comparative Analysis of Italy, Spain, and Turkey, Routledge, p. 184 
  8. ^ Roller, Elisa (2004), "Conflict and Cooperation in EU Policy-Making: The Case of Catalonia", The EU and Territorial Politics Within Member States: Conflict Or Co-Operation? (Brill): 80 
  9. ^ "Parties and Elections in Europe, "Spain", The database about parliamentary elections and political parties in Europe, by Wolfram Nordsieck". Parties & Elections. 19 March 2013. Retrieved 19 March 2013. 
  10. ^ Alonso, Sonia (2012), Challenging the State: Devolution and the Battle for Partisan Credibility, Oxford University Press, p. 77 
  11. ^ Ramiro, Luis; Morales, Laura (2007), "European integration and Spanish parties: Elite empowerment amidst limited adaptation", The Europeanization of National Political Parties: Power and organizational adaptation (Routledge): 146 
  12. ^ Moreno, Luis; Colino, César (2010), "Kingdom of Spain", Diversity and Unity in Federal Countries (McGill-Queen's University Press): 299 
  13. ^ Wolfram Nordsieck. "Parties and Elections in Europe". Retrieved 2012-02-10. 
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^ Jaume Renyer Alimbau, ERC: temps de transició. Per una esquerra forta, renovadora i plural (Barcelona: Cossetània, 2008).
  17. ^ "The Battle for Spain" Beevor (2006) p.25
  18. ^ Dades electorals detallades de les Eleccions Locals 2011, arxiu històric electora, accessed 28 November 2012
  19. ^ Dades electorals detallades de les Eleccions Locals 2011, arxiu històric electora, accessed 28 November 2012

External links[edit]