Democratic Convergence of Catalonia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Democratic Convergence of Catalonia
Convergència Democràtica de Catalunya
Abbreviation CDC
President Jacint Borràs
Secretary Francesc Sánchez Vera
Founded 17 November 1974
Dissolved 8 July 2016 (defunct)[a]
Succeeded by Catalan European Democratic Party
Headquarters C/Còrsega, 333
08002 Barcelona
Ideology Catalan independence
Catalan nationalism[1][2]
Liberalism[1]
Conservatism[1]
Conservative liberalism[3]

Social democracy (minority)[4][5][6]
Political position Centre-right
National affiliation Democratic Pact for Catalonia (1977–1978)
Convergence and Union (1978–2015)
Regional affiliation Junts pel Sí (2015–2016)
Junts per Catalunya[b]
European affiliation Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe
European Parliament group Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe
Colours          Blue, white
Website
www.convergencia.cat

The Democratic Convergence of Catalonia (Catalan: Convergència Democràtica de Catalunya; IPA: [kumbəɾˈʒɛnsi.ə ðəmuˈkɾatikə ðə kətəˈluɲə], CDC) was a Catalan nationalist[1][2] and liberal[1] political party in Catalonia (Spain).

It was the largest political organization in the Autonomous Community of Catalonia, with more than 60,000 members.[citation needed] The last president of Democratic Convergence of Catalonia before its refoundation as the Catalan European Democratic Party was Artur Mas, and its General Secretary were Josep Rull i Andreu and Jordi Turull i Negre.[citation needed]

Rather than using its full acronym (CDC) the party was frequently referred to just as Convergència, and its members convergents in Catalan or convergentes in Spanish.

History[edit]

Founded in 1974, in the wake of the Spanish transition to democracy, Convergència was the major partner in the long-standing coalition Convergence and Union (CiU), together with the Democratic Union of Catalonia. Until their split in 2015, both parties partnered in a coalition which dominated Catalan regional politics from the 1980s to the early 2000s.[9] CDC's founder, Jordi Pujol, was the regional president of Catalonia for 23 consecutive years.

After spending seven years in opposition, CiU, led by Artur Mas, returned to power in the 2010 parliamentary elections but, unlike in previous stints at government, CiU could not attain an absolute majority.

Separatist turn[edit]

The minority government era in Catalan politics started in 2010, introducing previously unseen variable geometry in the region's politics. Hence, CiU partnered initially with the Socialists' Party of Catalonia,[10] then with the Popular Party.[11]

Eventually, none of these tactical agreements held and a period of political instability followed, substantiated in successive snap elections (2012 and 2015).

During this period, Convergència, led by Mas, initiated a progressive but fast turn into separatism, leaving behind its more vague Catalan nationalist stance. By 2015 Convergència was openly advocating and trying to lead Catalan separatism.

One of the consequences of the separatist turn was the termination of the CiU coalition with Unió Democràtica for the 2015 election. At that point, Convergència together with Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya formed a new coalition Junts pel Sí which explicitly demanded independence for Catalonia.

The situation remained unstable, as Junts pel Sí could not attain an absolute majority. As of 2016 it runs a minority government led by CDC member, Carles Puigdemont.

At Spanish-wide politics[edit]

Historically, at times of minority governments, CiU had played the role of kingmaker, allowing the formation of Spanish government by lending tactical support of its MPs at the Spanish Parliament in exchange for additional investments in Catalonia from the Spanish government.

Once CiU split, in the 2015 Spanish general election, the party ran as the main member of the Democracy and Freedom coalition.[12]

International[edit]

CDC was affiliated with the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe Party and with the Liberal International.

Factions[edit]

During the late 1970s and 1980s it claimed a social-democratic strand within its ranks, namely personified in militants such as Ramon Trias Fargas or Miquel Sellarès.[citation needed]

CDC had a current which advocated Catalan independence from Spain since they govern in Catalonia. The main exponents of the pro-independence current within CDC were Felip Puig,[13][14] Oriol Pujol,[15][16] David Madí,[17] and Àngel Colom.[18]

Refoundation[edit]

Led by its president, Artur Mas, on 8 July 2016, CDC held its last congress in which the members agreed to form a new party that will have its first congress from 8 to 10 July. Mas retained the presidential role in the refounded party.[19]

As for the reasons behind the rebranding process, some quote the desire to dissociate the party from its many corruption problems—including the ones of its founder—which accumulated during its dominance of Catalan regional politics.[20]

It had initially proposed two names for the new party: Més Catalunya and Catalans Convergents, but different party factions expressed their rejection of both proposals,[21] and on 9 July three other proposals were presented: Junts per Catalunya, Partit Demòcrata Català and Partit Nacional Català.[22]

Eventually, the party chose to re-style itself as "Partit Demòcrata Català" (Catalan Democratic Party). However, that name was suspended, since it is nearly identical with the one of another existing political party.[23] Finally, the new party chose the name "Partit Demòcrata Europeu Català" (Catalan European Democratic Party, PDECAT).

Electoral performance[edit]

Parliament of Catalonia[edit]

Parliament of Catalonia
Election Vote % Seats Status Leader
1980 with CiU
35 / 135
Government Jordi Pujol
1984 with CiU
56 / 135
Government Jordi Pujol
1988 with CiU
54 / 135
Government Jordi Pujol
1992 with CiU
54 / 135
Government Jordi Pujol
1995 with CiU
46 / 135
Government Jordi Pujol
1999 with CiU
43 / 135
Government Jordi Pujol
2003 with CiU
33 / 135
Opposition Artur Mas
2006 with CiU
34 / 135
Opposition Artur Mas
2010 with CiU
45 / 135
Government Artur Mas
2012 with CiU
37 / 135
Government Artur Mas
2015 with JxSí
29 / 135
Government Artur Mas

Congress of Deputies[edit]

Congress of Deputies
Election Spain Catalonia Status
Vote % Seats Vote % Seats
1977 with PDC
5 / 350
with PDC
5 / 47
Opposition
1979 with CiU
7 / 350
with CiU
7 / 47
Opposition
1982 with CiU
9 / 350
with CiU
9 / 47
Opposition
1986 with CiU
13 / 350
with CiU
13 / 47
Opposition
1989 with CiU
13 / 350
with CiU
13 / 46
Opposition
1993 with CiU
12 / 350
with CiU
12 / 47
Opposition
1996 with CiU
11 / 350
with CiU
11 / 46
Opposition
2000 with CiU
11 / 350
with CiU
11 / 46
Opposition
2004 with CiU
6 / 350
with CiU
6 / 47
Opposition
2008 with CiU
6 / 350
with CiU
6 / 47
Opposition
2011 with CiU
10 / 350
with CiU
10 / 47
Opposition
2015 with DiL
7 / 350
with DiL
7 / 47
Opposition
2016 483,488 (#6) 2.01
8 / 350
483,488 (#4) 13.90
8 / 47
Opposition

Senate[edit]

Senate
Election Spain Catalonia
Seats Vote % Seats
1977
2 / 208
with DiC
2 / 16
1979
1 / 208
with CiU
1 / 16
1982
4 / 208
with Cat.Senat
4 / 16
1986
7 / 208
with CiU
7 / 16
1989
8 / 208
with CiU
8 / 16
1993
7 / 208
with CiU
7 / 16
1996
6 / 208
with CiU
6 / 16
2000
6 / 208
with CiU
6 / 16
2004
4 / 208
with CiU
4 / 16
2008
4 / 208
with CiU
4 / 16
2011
7 / 208
with CiU
7 / 16
2015
5 / 208
with DiL
5 / 16
2016
2 / 208
587,680 (#3) 17.63
2 / 16

European Parliament[edit]

European Parliament
Election Spain Catalonia
Vote % Seats Vote %
1987 with CiU
2 / 60
with CiU
1989 with CiU
1 / 60
with CiU
1994 with CiU
2 / 64
with CiU
1999 with CiU
2 / 64
with CiU
2004 with Galeusca
1 / 54
with CiU
2009 with CEU
1 / 54
with CiU
2014 with CEU
1 / 54
with CiU

Corruption affair[edit]

On 15 January 2018, a court in Barcelona ruled that CDC had received €6.6 million in illegal commissions from building firm Ferrovial between 1999 and 2009, in exchange for public works contracts. The scheme used the Palau de la Música Catalana concert venue as a front for false invoicing.[24] Twelve people were jailed and fined millions. The former CDC treasurer Daniel Osàcar was sentenced to four years and five months in prison and fined €3.7 million for influence peddling and money laundering.[25] Fèlix Millet, the former director of the Palau, was jailed for just under 10 years and fined €4.1 million and his deputy, Jordi Montull, received a 7 years and six months sentence and was fined €2.9 million. Millet and Montull were the individuals who benefited most from the scam, controlling the Palau’s funds.[24][25] The Turkey Telegraph noted the "final impunity of the CDC leaders", and also the impunity for the company that paid illegal commissions. Earlier in January, Artur Mas, who was a close ally of Osàcar, stepped down as party president.[26]

See also[edit]

Notelist[edit]

  1. ^ PDeCAT assumed CDC's political activity on 8 July 2016 and the latter is no longer active, but its brand remains in the electoral register and the party has not been legally dissolved.
  2. ^ CDC's brand was registered as part of the JuntsxCat alliance ahead of the 2017 Catalan regional election, in order to allow its successor party, PDeCAT, to be guaranteed the public funding corresponding to CDC for the campaign.[7][8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Dowling, Andrew (2005), "Convergència i Unió, Catalonia and the new Catalanism", The Politics of Contemporary Spain, Rotledge, p. 106 
  2. ^ a b 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, p. 145 
  3. ^ Hans Slomp (2011). Europe, a Political Profile: An American Companion to European Politics. ABC-CLIO. p. 518. ISBN 978-0-313-39181-1. 
  4. ^ Perfil: Puigdemont, el ala más independentista de CDC
  5. ^ Mas vira hacia la socialdemocracia a las puertas del 27-S con su nuevo Gobierno.
  6. ^ El sector liberal planta batalla a la socialdemocràcia de la nova CDC.
  7. ^ "C3. Coalición electoral "Junts per Catalunya"". Junta Electoral Central. 
  8. ^ Lamelas, Marcos (24 November 2017). "El PDeCAT va el 21-D en coalición consigo mismo para cobrar las subvenciones de CDC". El Confidencial (in Spanish). 
  9. ^ UDC sale del Govern y pone en jaque una alianza de 37 años de CiU
  10. ^ Mas, investido presidente con la abstención del PSC
  11. ^ La abstención del PPC permite la aprobación de los presupuestos de Catalunya de 2012
  12. ^ "CDC concurrirá a las generales bajo el nombre de Democràcia i Llibertat". El Periódico de Catalunya (in Spanish). 2015-11-06. Retrieved 2015-11-06. 
  13. ^ http://www.lavanguardia.es/politica/noticias/20100827/53990327112/felip-puig-la-independencia-de-catalunya-solo-sera-posible-a-traves-de-ciu.html
  14. ^ http://politica.e-noticies.es/el-ultimo-deseo-de-felip-puig-es-la-independencia-31662.html
  15. ^ http://www.vozbcn.com/2010/08/27/30427/pujol-cataluna-gran-murcia/
  16. ^ http://www.vilaweb.cat/noticia/3755946/20100719/oriol-pujol-aclareix-ciu-independentista.html
  17. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xcMtYa_TB9k
  18. ^ http://www.naciodigital.cat/noticia/17862
  19. ^ El Partit Demòcrata encumbra a Mas con el 95% de los votos|El Mundo
  20. ^ Convergencia i Unió: Refundación agitada| El País
  21. ^ "Un motín en CDC obliga a aplazar la elección del nombre del nuevo partido". El Periódico de Catalunya (in Spanish). 8 July 2016. Retrieved 9 July 2016. 
  22. ^ "Los tres finalistas para la nueva CDC: 'Junts per Catalunya', 'Partit Demòcrata Català' y 'Partit Nacional Català'". El Periódico de Catalunya (in Spanish). 9 July 2016. Retrieved 9 July 2016. 
  23. ^ Noticias de Cataluña: El partido de Mas no podrá llamarse 'Partit Democràta Català' por confusión con otro
  24. ^ a b "Corruption sentence hits Catalonia's dominant nationalist party". Irish Times. Retrieved 17 January 2018. 
  25. ^ a b "Catalonia corruption scandal: court orders party to repay €6.6m". The Guardian. Retrieved 17 January 2018. 
  26. ^ "Guilty (editorial)". Turkey Telegraph. Retrieved 17 January 2018. 

External links[edit]