Carme Forcadell

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Carme Forcadell
Via Catalana Barcelona Plaça Catalunya 62-edit.jpg
14th President of the Parliament of Catalonia
In office
26 October 2015 – 17 January 2018
Vice PresidentLluís Corominas (2015-2017)
Lluís Guinó (2017)
Preceded byNúria de Gispert
Succeeded byRoger Torrent
President of the Catalan National Assembly
In office
22 April 2012 – 6 May 2015
Succeeded byJordi Sànchez
Member of the Parliament of Catalonia
for the Province of Barcelona
In office
26 October 2015 – 22 March 2018
City Councilor of Sabadell
In office
2003–2007
Personal details
Born (1955-05-29) 29 May 1955 (age 67)
Xerta, Catalonia, Spain
NationalitySpanish
Political partyindependent
Junts pel Sí (2015–2017)
Republican Left of Catalonia (2003–2007)
Children2
Residence(s)Sabadell
EducationPhilosophy
Alma materAutonomous University of Barcelona
OccupationTeacher, writer, politician
Professionlanguage teacher
Signature

Maria Carme Forcadell i Lluís (born 29 May 1955) is a Spanish politician from Catalonia. She is the former President of the Parliament of Catalonia, as well as a Catalan high school teacher, known for her Catalan independence activism.

She was one of the founders of Plataforma per la Llengua, a member of the executive board of the Sabadell branch of Òmnium Cultural, and president of the Catalan National Assembly from its inception until May 2015.[1][2]

In 2015, she won a seat in the Catalan parliament as part of the Junts pel Sí coalition.[3] Subsequently, in October 2015 she was elected President of the Parliament of Catalonia, a position she held until January 2018. Since March 2018 until June 2021, she was jailed, accused of rebellion.[4] In October 2019, she was sentenced by Spain's Supreme Court to 11 years and six months in prison and disqualification for the crimes of sedition and embezzlement of public funds.[5][6][7] She was freed in June 2021 following a government pardon.[8][9]

Background[edit]

Forcadell was born in Xerta, Spain.[10] She is the daughter of a humble family; her father was a farmer and a truck driver. She was born in Xerta and at 18 she moved to Sabadell, where she currently lives.[11]

Forcadell has a degree in philosophy and communication studies from the Autonomous University of Barcelona and a Masters in Catalan philology from the same university. She worked at the television station TVE Catalunya from 1979 to 1982 and with various other media organizations. Forcadell has been a civil servant within the Catalan Department of Education since 1985, as the coordinator of linguistic normalization for the Department's Catalan Education Service since 1992, and then from 2004 on as a consultant of intercultural studies, language, and social cohesion in Vallès Occidental. She has published textbooks, books on language and literature, and a dictionary. She has been a contributing writer for various media outlets, writing about language planning, language, and identity. She is a member of the Comissió de la Dignitat (Commission on Dignity, an organization that works to have documents confiscated by the Franco regime returned to their rightful owners) and the Plataforma pel Dret de Decidir (Platform for the Right to Decide), where she is part of the communications committee.[12]

Political career[edit]

Puigdemont voting for Declaration of Independence on 27 October 2017

Forcadell has been a member of Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya and served as a city councilperson for the political party in Sabadell from 2003 to 2007.[13]

On 22 April 2012 the members of the Executive Board of the Catalan National Assembly (ANC) chose Forcadell as president of the ANC. She was joined by Carles Castellanos as vice president and Jordi Martínez as secretary. During the summer of 2012, the ANC organized marches for independence all over Catalonia. As president of the ANC, Forcadell was one of the leading voices behind the organization of the 2012 "Catalonia, Next State in Europe" rallies and the Catalan Way in 2013. On 17 May 2014, she was reelected president of the ANC with 97% of the votes.[14] Forcadell received the 2014 Joan Blanca Prize from the city of Perpignan in recognition of her commitment to the defense of Catalan culture and identity.

On 16 May 2015, Jordi Sànchez i Picanyol succeeded her as President of the ANC. He was chosen by the members of the Executive Board despite Liz Castro's having received the most votes.[1] The following July it was announced that Forcadell would be a candidate in the Catalan parliamentary elections to be held on 27 September, running second behind Raül Romeva on the electoral list of the pro-independence coalition Together for Yes for the province of Barcelona.

On 26 October 2015 Forcadell was elected president of the Catalan parliament.[15]

Imprisonment[edit]

Forcadell attending to the Supreme Court on 2 November 2017

After the Catalan declaration of independence on 27 October 2017, Forcadell was investigated by the Supreme Court for alleged crimes of rebellion and sedition.

She first appeared in the Supreme Court on 2 November 2017 but the judge postponed her declaration as imputed for 9 November.[16]

On 9 November 2017 Forcadell was sent to Madrid's Alcalá Meco jail,[17] only overnight, over her role as the Speaker of the Catalan Parliament for having processed in the Parliament a bill of independence referendum, using an emergency procedure that was declared void by the Constitutional Court, violating the participation rights of the opposition parties and falsifying the publication of said project, because the secretary general of the parliament refused to process it, as it was unconstitutional. Also, to process the next day the Draft Law of legal transience, which sought to unilaterally break the unity of Spain.[18][19][20] She was released the same day with a precautionary bail of 150,000 euros.

In December of the same year she was again elected to the Parliament elections this time for the candidature of Esquerra Republicana. She renewed her status as a parliamentarian on 17 January 2018 but resigned to be re-elected president of the chamber and was succeeded by the deputy by Roger Torrent.[21]

On 24 March 2018, after the failed voting for the investiture of Jordi Turull as president of the Generalitat of Catalonia, she resigned as deputy, along with Marta Rovira and Dolors Bassa.[22] One day after, on 23 March 2018, Presidential candidate Jordi Turull, former parliament speaker Carme Forcadell and three deposed ministers were sent to pre-trial prison.[23][24][25]

On 1 February 2019 she was transferred back to the Madrilenian prison of Alcalá-Meco, to face the Judgment that began on 12 February 2019[4] and ended and was remitted to decision on 12 June 2019.[26]

On 14 October 2019, she was sentenced to 11 years and six months in prison and disqualification for sedition crime. The verdict was delivered by seven judges at Spain's supreme court, after a four-month trial with 422 witnesses.[5][6][7]

She was freed in June 2021 following a government pardon, together with other eight politicians imprisoned in connection with the Catalan independence referendum.[8][9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Jordi Sànchez, nou president de l'Assemblea Nacional Catalana" [Jordi Sànchez, new president of the Catalan National Assembly] (in Catalan). Corporació Catalana de Mitjans Audiovisuals [Catalan Media Corporation]. 15 May 2015. Retrieved 3 April 2021.
  2. ^ Bataller, Marc (April 30, 2012). "L'actitud hostil d'Espanya ens ajudarà a tenir estat" ['Spain's hostile attitude will help us have a state']. El Punt Avui (in Catalan). Retrieved 3 April 2021.
  3. ^ "Diputats electes". El Punt Avui (in Catalan). Retrieved 11 October 2015.
  4. ^ a b Congostrina, Alfonso L. (2019-02-01). "Catalan independence leaders moved to Madrid jails ahead of trial". El País. ISSN 1134-6582. Retrieved 2019-02-02.
  5. ^ a b Barcelona, Sam Jones Stephen Burgen in (2019-10-14). "Violent clashes over Catalan separatist leaders' prison terms". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2019-10-22.
  6. ^ a b "Catalan separatist leaders handed jail terms for independence bid". Al Jazeera. Retrieved 2019-10-22.
  7. ^ a b Sentencia del 'procés': penas de 9 a 13 años para Junqueras y los otros líderes por sedición y malversación (in Spanish)
  8. ^ a b "Freed Catalan leader calls on Spain to 'think about future generations'". The Guardian. Retrieved 28 June 2021.
  9. ^ a b "Freed Catalan Leader Junqueras Vows to Continue Working for Independence". US News. Retrieved 28 June 2021.
  10. ^ Auto judicial con el nombre completo y fecha de nacimiento de Forcadell
  11. ^ "Biografia - Carme Forcadell i Lluís" (in Catalan). Parlament de Catalunya. Archived from the original on 2017-11-07. Nascuda a Xerta (Baix Ebre) el 1955, viu a Sabadell (Vallès Occidental) des dels divuit anys. [Born in Xerta (Baix Ebre) in 1955, she has lived in Sabadell (Vallès Occidental) since she was eighteen.]
  12. ^ "Carme Forcadell". Parlament de Catalunya (in Catalan). Archived from the original on 2019-07-09. Retrieved 2019-02-02.
  13. ^ Minder, Raphael (November 7, 2014). "Allying Catalans to the Separatist Cause". The New York Times. Retrieved 15 July 2015.
  14. ^ Domènech, Xavier (14 September 2012). "De les consultes a l'Assemblea Nacional" [Consultations in the National Assembly]. Diari de Girona (in Catalan). Retrieved 15 July 2015.
  15. ^ Julve, Rafa; Rico, Jose (26 October 2015). "Carme Forcadell ya es presidenta del Parlament con los votos de JxSí, la CUP y parte de Sí que es Pot" [Carme Forcadell is president of the Parliament with votes from JxSí, CUP and part of Sí que es Pot]. El Periodico (in Spanish). Retrieved 3 April 2021.
  16. ^ El Supremo aplaza la declaración de Forcadell y el resto de la Mesa pero les ordena estar localizables (in Spanish)
  17. ^ Jones, Sam (2017-11-10). "Catalan parliament speaker and four members of governing body bailed". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2019-02-02.
  18. ^ "Spain Catalonia: Ex-parliament speaker Forcadell granted bail". BBC News. 9 November 2017.
  19. ^ La Fiscalía General se querella contra los miembros del Gobierno catalán y de la Mesa del Parlament (in Spanish)
  20. ^ Catalan parliament speaker and four members of governing body bailed
  21. ^ "Roger Torrent, nou president del Parlament". El Nacional (in Catalan). Retrieved 16 January 2018.
  22. ^ Rovira, Forcadell y Bassa renuncian a sus escaños por su procesamiento (in Spanish)
  23. ^ Spain Catalonia: Clashes after separatist leaders detained
  24. ^ Spain Charges 13 Catalan Separatist Leaders With Rebellion
  25. ^ Catalan leaders remain in jail year after independence referendum
  26. ^ Trial of Catalan Independence Leaders Ends in Spain

External links[edit]