The Catalan National Assembly (ANC, in Catalan) has launched a campaign to reach out to all political parties and civil organisations in favour of self-determination to propose a binding referendum on independence, which the association voted on this weekend. However, for the moment, the ANC has ruled out a unilateral vote: “For the ANC, the aim is not a unilateral referendum but rather a binding referendum on independence. Having said that, to be clear, if the Spanish State does not accept the need to find a democratic resolution, the ANC proposal foresees the Catalan parliament and then the Catalan government calling and organising a referendum,” said the ANC president, Jordi Sànchez, in a news conference to explain “the specific modification to the roadmap,” which consists of substituting the constituent elections on the independence agenda for a binding referendum, with constituent elections to be held at a later date.
The ANC made it clear that this referendum proposal comes from “the exclusive willingness to unite all of the sovereignty and democratic groups in favour of this process,” which is why, according to its president, “the Assembly will spare no effort at dialogue and discussion with all sectors in favour of self-determination and independence, and will not place any deadline for an affirmative or negative response on any organisation or party.”
The ANC president added that his association’s proposal, which was passed by 74.87% of its members who voted -some 26% of those eligible to vote- “is aimed at accelerating consensus and bringing other groups together. We want the referendum to show what all independence and sovereignty supporters share,” said Sànchez, in clear reference to Podemos a Catalunya. However, the ANC will not call for “a specific date for holding the referendum,” because it is understood that “the agreed 18-month timeframe is going ahead and can still attain its objectives.”
Sànchez justified the proposal to modify the roadmap because “it’s now time for a change of direction in the independence process, which allows for imagining a democratic conclusion to the process,” and he thus insisted that in the ANC “we can think of no other more powerful tool than the calling of a referendum.” Moreover, the association wants a referendum with international observers, based on the official electorate census and with a clear democratic willingness to accept the result “to establish the wishes of the majority of the population.”
For her part, Liz Castro pointed out that “if we win the referendum, we will proclaim independence that very same night,” because she believes that a binding referendum “is the best way for the international community to recognise us.”