Oriol Junqueras intervenes first. He is at the ERC management meeting on Wednesday night and states that he wants to leave office now, immediately. To run, yes, for re-election as president. But in the party they make him see that this decision is incongruent with the letter that he had made public the day before, in which he assures that he sees himself with “strength” to continue working in the formation, and never that he will leave office, or that This resignation is temporary. They agree that he will leave after the European elections on June 9.

It was yesterday that Junqueras confirmed that he would resign as proposed. He does it at a press conference where he looks uncomfortable. He assures that there are no differences between the letter and what was announced later, since in both cases, as he says, he requests the endorsement of the militancy. He also confirms that he is willing to run for re-election: “I am not giving up anything.” And he absolutely denies that he has felt pressured by his own training.

Of course, he admits that ERC needs “a process of listening, of reconnection, of reconstruction of the story, of what society expects” from its party. He adds that Esquerra “has to find a way for society” to return “its trust.”

Back at the meeting on Wednesday night, the ERC leader points out that he has more plans: although at the beginning of the week he had suggested holding the national congress in July, he proposes this time to do it in September, on the 8th. But Junqueras again ends up giving in to the position of leaders of the formation, such as Marta Rovira, general secretary, in favor of embarking on a “calm transition”, without rushing. Pere Aragonès’s announcement on Monday to withdraw from the political front line had to contribute to this certain serenity. The silence after the electoral disaster would have implied too much noise.

The ERC management is aware that a national congress with an upcoming date would have made it difficult to present other candidates for a new leadership. Junqueras would have been favored, because furthermore, for now, no one in the party has a name in mind who is capable of leading a project.

In any case and finally, the date of the congress, in which Esquerra will seal the new strategy and the new leadership, will be November 30. Rovira, who was clear since he had the results of the elections in his hands that he would leave his position, due to a mere matter of rank, is the one who leads the fight.

The atmosphere at Wednesday’s executive meeting, if not that of a funeral, is close to it. There is tension. A good part of those attending do not share the idea of ​​their president. About the first dozen of the interventions that follow Junqueras’s coincide in trying to make him see that by wanting to run for re-election he is not taking the right path. Some of them are very heartfelt. Some of those present even break up around the table.

Among the arguments given for him to reconsider and not run for re-election, is that in a process of renewal of the party, or of “reconstruction or listening”, as Junqueras defined yesterday in a press conference, it makes little sense for the captain of the ship remains at the helm.

But Oriol Junqueras also has support, such as that of the Minister of the Interior, Joan Ignasi Elena, who feels as much or more linked to his leader as Gabriel Rufián does.

Be that as it may, the executive’s meeting was rushed. Junqueras’ letter helped. A very good part of its members were unaware that he would write one, and much less expected its publication.

Now Junqueras wants to tour Catalonia to see the support he can have among citizens and the endorsements he can get with militancy. “I need to go out into the streets and talk to people, and the best way to do it in my case is from a position of equal to equal,” not as president of ERC, he maintained. By leaving office he frees himself from any responsibility for investiture agreements or alliances that his party may take. Rovira and Aragonés, who will maintain their positions until there is a new directive, are called to command the negotiations. Yes there are.

Thus, the leader of the party seems to emulate Pedro Sánchez, when after being forced to leave the general secretary of the PSOE in October 2016, he drove from one end of Spain to the other at the wheel of his Peugeot 407 to obtain the approval of the bases.

ERC is going through its worst moment since 2011, since Junqueras presided over it. There is unrest between his supporters and those who are not, also between those who are committed to supporting an investiture and those who are willing to repeat the election. For this last option, Junqueras would have a difficult time standing in the elections, since the amnesty, although approved at the end of this month, is likely to be effective later. It depends on the judicial authorities.