It’s only been thirteen days. It is the wildcard phrase that is used in ERC to avoid taking a position on the fate of the republican votes in Catalonia and Madrid. Pere Aragonès has fallen from the poster at the European election rallies and is obsessed with making an exemplary transfer of the presidency. For days now he has been meeting the management teams of the departments in his office and asking them to have a document for the transfer of powers ready for the next Government. He himself hopes to sit down with his successor. The question remains with whom and when. The answer is up to ERC, but the president will remain neutral in the debate on the party’s leadership and the decision on the investiture.

After ten days of internal turmoil, the window for public battle closed on Thursday with the start of the European campaign with which Oriol Junqueras seeks to temper spirits. In the PSC, Salvador Illa will be especially active to prevent the image of the socialist victory in the Catalan elections from being diluted and the impression of institutional vacuum from being established. Illa depends on the yes of the 20 ERC deputies to be president while Carles Puigdemont’s arithmetic juggling only has the electoral repetition as a horizon, no matter how much Miriam Nogueras vehemently warns Pedro Sánchez not to “tempt fate.”

In the acting management of ERC, numbers are made. The loss of the Government directly affects more than 500 senior officials and trusted personnel and 250 directors of public entities. “It has happened to us before, we will overcome it,” they maintain, and assure that the ERC teams are the most professional. Strategic scenarios are also drawn. The key to governance can open the door to political hell; and not opening the door leaves you out in the open. That’s why they don’t teach it. Quite the opposite of what Josep Lluís Carod-Rovira did with the tripartites. The punishment came in a delayed manner, in 2010, losing half of the deputies. A year later, Carod tore up his ERC card.

The move to Aragonès has another meaning. Once the time of incompatibilities has expired, he will begin his professional career. ERC is not the assembly party of 20 years ago, but the past weighs heavily and work is being done to prevent it from returning. The executive meetings have taken place discreetly in recent days, and even the photo in Parliament of the farewell of the outgoing parliamentary group, which was attended by President Aragonès, was avoided. The first objective is to leave the votes for the presidency of the Parliament with a free hand, which makes a PSC-ERC pact for the Republicans to preside over the Chamber unlikely for now.

The 9-J campaign will concentrate contacts on the eve of the plenary session of the Parliament’s constitution. The PSC does not renounce that presidency – key to designating a candidate for the investiture – and in the ranks of ERC an agreement with Junts is not ruled out. The old table, with Agustí Colominas (Junts), Julia Calvet (Vox) and Mar Basses (ERC), must decide whether to accept the delegate votes of Puigdemont and Lluís Puig – the former president committed his return for the investiture debate, not before – going against the Constitutional Court. The transitional independence alliance could relegate the PSC if it does not have the votes of the PP.

The challenge for the Republican leadership is to resist external pressures to invest Illa and get the most out of the 20 deputies of the Parliament with the minimum cost. Pedro Sánchez insists that “all roads lead to Salvador Illa”, he appeals to “mainstreaming” in Catalan politics that puts an end to the blocs and praises the work and cooperation of Aragonès and ERC. Regarding the self-imposed silence in ERC, the “opportunities” seen by former Minister Carles Mundó stand out, who advocated in La Vanguardia to take advantage of parliamentary strength instead of licking the wounds due to the loss of institutional power without being aware of the tactical movements of Junts. .

Sánchez clings to compliance with the Statute, offers coffee for everyone and, before the Catalan business community, reaffirms his commitment to comply with the agreements with ERC – he did not mention those of Junts – to feed the pragmatists. Is it enough as a preamble to a new story in ERC? Defeats are not eternal, nor is socialist victory permanent. And ERC has the key.