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Majority of Catalans oppose the independence declaration bill — poll

Metroscopia survey shows 51% reject document drafted to speed up the secession process

71% do not want to see premier Artur Mas serve another term

Acting Catalan premier Artur Mas is not guaranteed a new term in office despite having won the regional election.
Acting Catalan premier Artur Mas is not guaranteed a new term in office despite having won the regional election. EFE

A month after winning the Catalan elections with a coalition of separatist parties, acting regional premier Artur Mas is far from guaranteed a new term in office.

A new opinion survey by polling firm Metroscopia shows that 71% of Catalans do not want Mas to serve again.

Additionally, 51% of respondents oppose the document drafted this week by Mas’s Junts pel Sí coalition and its partner, CUP, to speed up the process to create a new independent Catalan republic. The initiative is backed by 42% of Catalans.

Most Catalans said that the draft does not express the people’s will, and believe that in order to carry on with the independence process, there would first have to be a legal referendum in the region.

If a legal referendum on independence were held today, the “no” camp would win with 49% of the vote compared to 41% for “yes,” according to Metroscopia. Before the September 27 election, the “no” option only had a one-point lead.

With only 10 days to go before the investiture debate takes place, Mas still lacks the support he needs from the 10 regional deputies of CUP, a small far-left party that champions anti-capitalism and a complete break with the European Union.

If a legal referendum on independence were held today, the “no” camp would win with 49% of the vote

The lack of common ground between CUP and Junts pel Si, whose main member is Mas’s own Democratic Convergence of Catalonia (CDC) party, is making it difficult to reach a consensus on who should lead Catalonia through these tumultuous times of growing confrontation between supporters and detractors of independence.

During the campaign race, CUP members had pledged not to support Mas, whose CDC party is embroiled in several corruption investigations involving illegal financing and bribes for contracts. Mas is also viewed as the leader who made budget cuts to public services during the economic crisis.

While Mas formally ran in fourth place on the list of candidates for the September 27 election, he was expected to seek a new term in office if his coalition won. But now 71% of Catalans do not wish him to see him continue in power – an eight-point increase from the last survey in September.

Another potential candidate for premier is Oriol Junqueras, the leader of the Catalan Republican Left (ERC), the other major member of the Junts pel Sí coalition that earned 62 seats at the election, short of the 68 required for control of the Catalan parliament.

CUP members would rather see Junqueras in charge, or else acting deputy premier Neus Munté, or Raül Romeva, the man who formally ran in top spot on the Junts pel Si ticket but who is widely expected to step aside in favor of Mas.

English version by Susana Urra.