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Dimarts  01.07.2014  10:55

Autor/s: Pere Cardús i Cardellach

Forcadell: "We have to bring the ballot boxes out on the streets, and if they dare, let them come take them from us"

Interview with the president of the Catalan National Assembly, after her declarations on Sunday · She clarifies the group’s position in the event that the Parliament chooses not to hold a referendum on November 9


Declarations from the president of the Catalan National Assembly (ANC)Carme Forcadell, set off alarms on Sunday throughout the independence movement social media networks. Forcadell said that the ANC would support any decision made by the Parliament of Catalonia if in the end the November 9th referendum could not be held. According to the criticisms voiced most loudly, that would mean accepting implicitly that the referendum will not be held and pointed toward alternate options. We spoke with Carme Forcadell so that she could explain what she meant herself. And she was very forthright.

So, do you assume already that there will be no referendum on November 9th?

What are you talking about? I thought you were going to ask me serious questions. What are you saying? The only thing we are working for is the referendum. Everything we're doing is around campaigning for a resounding Yes-Yes vote. And both plan A and plan B on our road map are the November 9th referendum. What are you talking about? Are you seriously asking me that question? I'm asking you for real.

I would like to know if you've already accepted that the referendum will not be held.
No, no. Absolutely not. At this time, the only option we see is to hold the November 9th referendum. We are working solely so that it can be held, and we can win it. We want the referendum to be held. And that's it. It's the only hypothesis. We have to do what we can to have a referendum. Let the Spanish Government have the problem of avoiding it. But we don't have any problems with it. We have to go straight to the referendum. Let the Spanish Government find a way to keep us from voting. We see that very clearly.

Is it smart to talk about alternatives to the referendum? Or is it a way of preparing the terrain for not holding it?
That's true. You're right. We can't talk about alternatives. It's true that we shouldn't talk about them because that makes the referendum more uncertain. We have a road map that includes more options in case the referendum cannot be held, but we are exclusively focused on the referendum.

Your declarations received a lot of criticism in social media.
I explained what our road map says. But that doesn't mean, in any fashion, that we will sacrifice the referendum. We are not doing anything more than working for the referendum day and night. We have no other hypothesis in mind.

But do you understand that your remarks could have been interpreted the way they were? You said that you would support any decision that the Parliament made...
I understand that if you take that phrase out of context, it might be confusing. But if I say it after a whole series of explanations about how we're going to do what we can to hold the referendum, then it cannot be misinterpreted. I understand that people are very sensitive and that one must be careful when making remarks. But we have a mandate approved in our assembly on April 5. It is a road map approved in assembly that all of us must fulfill. Therefore, it's inconceivable that one of us could veer off this road map. Any declaration that diverges from the road map is automatically invalidated. Including my own. If someone thought that the National Board of the ANC can disregard the road map, they're wrong. Plans A and B on the road map are the referendum.

What does the road map say? Does it talk about hypothetical alternatives to a referendum?
Yes, but they are a remote possibility. It talks about elections and such. There is a possibility that includes elections. You can find it written in the Assembly documentation. The first two possibilities are the referendum. Legally and agreed upon in the first case, and with the opposition of the Spanish Government in the second. These two possibilities are what we're working on and we don't plan to switch from this script.

When you say that the ANC will support any decision made by the Parliament...
Excuse me. We will support whatever decision made, as long as it is part of our road map.

That's very different! Without that nuance, it might seem that the ANC had stopped applying any pressure.
No, no, no... We support what the Parliament says and whatever the President of the Parliament calls for as long as it is within the mark of our road map. Obviously. That's what we approved in our assembly.

What would have to happen for the referendum not to be able to be held?
We have to do whatever is possible and impossible to bring out the ballot boxes. Let someone else come and take them from us, and pay the price. We will do everything we can, and more. If we spend all day saying that we're not going to talk about alternate hypotheses because they distract from the referendum, don't ask me to play that game. Better that we don't go there. Let's leave it here. We have to bring out the ballot boxes and whoever dares, let them come take them from us. I see that very clearly.