Artur Mas announces his decision to put forward Mayor Carles Puigdemont as candidate to the presidency of the Catalan Government
President Mas steps aside in the interest of the country
This afternoon, the President of the Government of Catalonia, Artur Mas, appeared before members of the press to disclose the agreement between Junts pel Sí and the CUP-CC party that will fulfil the democratic mandate set out in the elections of September 27 in order “to move the country forward”. President Mas explained that, as a result of the agreement, he reached the decision “to step aside” and not to stand as a candidate for re-election to the presidency of the Catalan Government. The acting president recognized that this decision “has a sore element” but that the gesture was made “in the interest of the country, which comes before anything else”.
In this regard, Artur Mas expressed that he is “very calm” and convinced that “the benefits of this agreement would be greater than the costs of this decision”. “In the coming days, the benefits of the decision to the future of the country will become clear”, he added.
The head of the Catalan Government also affirmed that, although several positions had been offered to him, he would not take up another one as “this is not about changing a post for another one”. “From Monday on, I will be the former President of Catalonia”, he added. Artur Mas revealed that he would not be retiring from active politics and that he would place his “personal efforts in rebuilding what Convergència Democràtica de Catalunya (CDC) means and represents in Catalonia”. He also highlighted that with the decision made today, he will become “absolutely free from the commitment” he made to not run in future elections if he was allowed to complete the Catalan political project.
Guaranteeing Government Stability
During the press conference, President Mas explained the clauses of today’s agreement. One of the most noteworthy sections involved his proposal to appoint the current mayor Girona and President of the Association of Municipalities for Independence (AMI), Carles Puigdemont, as the new President of the Catalan Government, which will be formally announced tomorrow in Parliament. Artur Mas expressed his “full confidence” in Puigdemont as well as his conviction that the new President will hold office in an “effective and positive way”. “He is a dynamic mayor, with experience in management and he knows what the Administration is about. He is in touch with the people and has a clear idea of the national project”, affirmed President Mas. In this regard, the head of the Executive put his self at the disposal “of the new President of the Government of Catalonia”.
Besides giving the green light to the appointment of the new president, the agreement also includes “the explicit commitment of the CUP to guarantee parliamentary stability”. “My obsession was to assure Government’s stability”, expressed President Mas. Thus, two deputies of the CUP will join Junts pel Sí’s parliamentary dynamic and activity in order “to allow progress to be made”. In this regard, what the polls “did not directly allow for has been fixed through negotiation”, added Artur Mas.