On March 14th will be held the French regional elections. A portion of Catalonia is under French administration since 1.659 when it was conquered by French armies. Nowadays this region, called Northern Catalonia, is part of a French region called Langedoc-Roussillon. This is mainly Occitan speaking and only one fifth of the region is Catalan.
Under this scenario Catalan parties are unable to stand up a electoral proposal by themselves. This elections the Catalan parties have decided to present themselves separated but in coalition with other parties. These are the options:
Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya (Catalonia’s Republican Left) is member of a nationalist and autonomist parties alliance at state level. It is called Régions et Peuples Solidarires (RPS). RPS has decided to form a coalition with the Green list, Europe Ecology. This list obtained a strong results in the last European elections. The catalanist candidate is a well-known journalist, Pere Manzanares, who promoted the first radio in Catalan language three decades ago.
- Unitat Catalana (Catalan Unity) is the only party with no counterpart in the Spanish territory. They formed a symbolical coalition with Occitan nationalists (Partit de la Nacion Occitana) but finally they broke it. Some weeks ago they were included in the UMP list. UMP is the party of the French Republic president Nicolas Sarkozy. Virginia Barre is well situated to obtain representation.
Convergence Démocratique de Catalogne (CDC) was the last to form an alliance. CDC is a RPS member but was no satisfied with the candidates process. So they broke the alliance with EE and they formed a new one with the Socialist Party. This is the biggest French opposition party. Four CDC members are included in the PS list among them the party’s leader Jordi Vera.
Other minor movements, Reagrupament and Maulets have decided not to be present in the regional elections. The first one will send a letter to the candidates asking by their compromises to defend the Catalan identitiy. Reagrupament and Maulets are hard-core independentists as well as ERC. Unitat Catalana and CDC demand a Catalan French region with autonomous powers.