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The Democratic Convergence of Catalonia (Catalan: Convergència Democràtica de Catalunya; IPA: [kumbərˈʒɛnsiə ðəmuˈkɾatikə ðə kətəˈɫuɲə], CDC) was a Catalan nationalist,[1][2] and liberal[1][3] 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

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.[10] 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

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,[11] then with the Popular Party.[12]

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

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.[13]

International

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

Factions

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,[14][15] Oriol Pujol,[16][17] David Madí,[18] and Àngel Colom.[19]

Refoundation

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.[20]

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.[21]

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,[22] and on 9 July three other proposals were presented: Junts per Catalunya, Partit Demòcrata Català and Partit Nacional Català.[23]

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.[24] Finally, the new party chose the name "Partit Demòcrata Europeu Català" (Catalan European Democratic Party, PDECAT).

Electoral performance

Parliament of Catalonia

Date Votes Seats Status Size
# % ±pp # ±
1980 752,943 27.8% Government *
1984 1,346,729 46.8% +19.0 Green Arrow Up Darker.svg21 Government *
1988 1,232,514 45.7% –1.1 Red Arrow Down.svg2 Government *
1992 1,221,233 46.2% +0.5 Arrow Blue Right 001.svg0 Government *
1995 1,320,071 40.9% –5.3 Red Arrow Down.svg8 Government *
1999 1,178,420 37.7% –3.2 Red Arrow Down.svg3 Government *
2003 1,024,425 30.9% –6.8 Red Arrow Down.svg10 Opposition *
2006 935,756 31.5% +0.6 Green Arrow Up Darker.svg1 Opposition *
2010 1,202,830 38.4% +6.9 Green Arrow Up Darker.svg11 Government *
2012 1,116,259 30.7% –7.7 Red Arrow Down.svg8 Government *
2015 1,628,714 39.6% N/A Red Arrow Down.svg8 Government **

Cortes Generales

Spain

Congress of Deputies
Date Votes Seats Status Size Notes
# % ±pp # ±
1977 514,647 2.8% Opposition *
1979 483,353 2.7% –0.1 Green Arrow Up Darker.svg2 Opposition ** government support 1980–81
1982 772,726 3.7% +1.0 Green Arrow Up Darker.svg2 Opposition **
1986 1,014,258 5.0% +1.3 Green Arrow Up Darker.svg4 Opposition **
1989 1,032,243 5.0% ±0.0 Arrow Blue Right 001.svg0 Opposition **
1993 1,165,783 4.9% −0.1 Red Arrow Down.svg1 Opposition ** government support 1993–95
1996 1,151,633 4.6% −0.3 Red Arrow Down.svg1 Opposition ** government support
2000 970,421 4.2% −0.4 Arrow Blue Right 001.svg0 Opposition **
2004 835,471 3.2% −1.0 Red Arrow Down.svg5 Opposition **
2008 779,425 3.0% −0.2 Arrow Blue Right 001.svg0 Opposition **
2011 1,015,691 4.2% +1.2 Green Arrow Up Darker.svg4 Opposition **
2015 567,253 2.2% –2.0 Red Arrow Down.svg3 Opposition ***
2016 483,488 2.0% –0.2 Green Arrow Up Darker.svg1 Opposition 6th
 
Senate
Date Seats Size
# ±
1977 *
1979 Red Arrow Down.svg1 **
1982 Green Arrow Up Darker.svg3 ****
1986 Green Arrow Up Darker.svg3 **
1989 Green Arrow Up Darker.svg1 **
1993 Red Arrow Down.svg1 **
1996 Red Arrow Down.svg1 **
2000 Arrow Blue Right 001.svg0 **
2004 Red Arrow Down.svg2 **
2008 Arrow Blue Right 001.svg0 **
2011 Green Arrow Up Darker.svg3 **
2015 Red Arrow Down.svg2 **
2016 Red Arrow Down.svg3 6th

Catalonia

Congress of Deputies
Date Votes Seats Size
# % ±pp # ±
1977 514,647 16.9% *
1979 483,353 16.4% –0.5 Green Arrow Up Darker.svg2 **
1982 772,726 22.5% +6.1 Green Arrow Up Darker.svg2 **
1986 1,014,258 32.0% +9.5 Green Arrow Up Darker.svg4 **
1989 1,032,243 32.7% +0.7 Arrow Blue Right 001.svg0 **
1993 1,165,783 31.8% −0.9 Red Arrow Down.svg1 **
1996 1,151,633 29.6% −2.2 Red Arrow Down.svg1 **
2000 970,421 28.8% −0.8 Arrow Blue Right 001.svg0 **
2004 835,471 20.8% −8.0 Red Arrow Down.svg5 **
2008 779,425 20.9% +0.1 Arrow Blue Right 001.svg0 **
2011 1,015,691 29.3% +8.4 Green Arrow Up Darker.svg4 **
2015 567,253 15.1% –14.2 Red Arrow Down.svg3 ***
2016 483,488 13.9% –1.2 Green Arrow Up Darker.svg1 4th
 
Senate
Date Seats Size
# ±
1977 *
1979 Red Arrow Down.svg1 **
1982 Green Arrow Up Darker.svg3 ****
1986 Green Arrow Up Darker.svg3 **
1989 Green Arrow Up Darker.svg1 **
1993 Red Arrow Down.svg1 **
1996 Red Arrow Down.svg1 **
2000 Arrow Blue Right 001.svg0 **
2004 Red Arrow Down.svg2 **
2008 Arrow Blue Right 001.svg0 **
2011 Green Arrow Up Darker.svg3 **
2015 Red Arrow Down.svg2 ***
2016 Red Arrow Down.svg3 3rd

European Parliament

Date Votes Seats Size
# % ±pp # ±
1987 853,603 4.4% **
1989 666,602 4.2% –0.2 Red Arrow Down.svg1 **
1994 865,913 4.7% +0.5 Green Arrow Up Darker.svg1 **
1999 937,687 4.4% –0.3 Arrow Blue Right 001.svg0 **
2004 798,816 5.1% +0.7 Red Arrow Down.svg1 **
2009 808,246 5.1% ±0.0 Arrow Blue Right 001.svg0 ***
2014 851,971 5.4% +0.3 Arrow Blue Right 001.svg0 ***

Corruption affair

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.[25] 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.[26] 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.[25][26] 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.[27]

See also

Notelist

  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.[8][9]

References

  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. ^ a b "Parties and Elections in Europe, "Catalonia/E", The database about parliamentary elections and political parties in Europe, by Wolfram Nordsieck". Parties & Elections. Retrieved 22 September 2015. 
  4. ^ Hans Slomp (2011). Europe, a Political Profile: An American Companion to European Politics. ABC-CLIO. p. 518. ISBN 978-0-313-39181-1. 
  5. ^ Perfil: Puigdemont, el ala más independentista de CDC
  6. ^ Mas vira hacia la socialdemocracia a las puertas del 27-S con su nuevo Gobierno.
  7. ^ El sector liberal planta batalla a la socialdemocràcia de la nova CDC.
  8. ^ "C3. Coalición electoral "Junts per Catalunya"". Junta Electoral Central. 
  9. ^ 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). 
  10. ^ UDC sale del Govern y pone en jaque una alianza de 37 años de CiU
  11. ^ Mas, investido presidente con la abstención del PSC
  12. ^ La abstención del PPC permite la aprobación de los presupuestos de Catalunya de 2012
  13. ^ "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. 
  14. ^ http://www.lavanguardia.es/politica/noticias/20100827/53990327112/felip-puig-la-independencia-de-catalunya-solo-sera-posible-a-traves-de-ciu.html
  15. ^ http://politica.e-noticies.es/el-ultimo-deseo-de-felip-puig-es-la-independencia-31662.html
  16. ^ http://www.vozbcn.com/2010/08/27/30427/pujol-cataluna-gran-murcia/
  17. ^ http://www.vilaweb.cat/noticia/3755946/20100719/oriol-pujol-aclareix-ciu-independentista.html
  18. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xcMtYa_TB9k
  19. ^ http://www.naciodigital.cat/noticia/17862
  20. ^ El Partit Demòcrata encumbra a Mas con el 95% de los votosEl Mundo
  21. ^ Convergencia i Unió: Refundación agitada El País
  22. ^ "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. 
  23. ^ "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. 
  24. ^ Noticias de Cataluña: El partido de Mas no podrá llamarse 'Partit Democràta Català' por confusión con otro
  25. ^ a b "Corruption sentence hits Catalonia's dominant nationalist party". Irish Times. Retrieved 17 January 2018. 
  26. ^ a b "Catalonia corruption scandal: court orders party to repay €6.6m". The Guardian. Retrieved 17 January 2018. 
  27. ^ "Guilty (editorial)". Turkey Telegraph. Retrieved 17 January 2018. 

External links