• Democràcia i Llibertat ~ Democracy and Freedom (DiL) •
The Partit Demòcrata Europeu Català (PDeCat, or Catalan European Democratic Party) is a centre-right, nationalist party in Spain’s northeast region of Catalonia that supports the region’s independence from Spain. Until July 2016, the party was known as Convergència Democràtica de Catalunya (CDC, or Democratic Convergence of Catalonia), an affiliate of the the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe Party (ALDE) and of the Liberal International.
Together with the regional Catalan Christian-Democrat party Unió Democràtica (Democratic Union), the party formed the Convergència i Unió (Convergence and Union, or CiU) electoral coalition that governed Catalonia from 1980-2003 under the leadership of CDC co-founder Jordi Pujol and again from 2010-2015 under his successor, Artur Mas, until the coalition’s breakup in July 2015 over the issue of Catalan independence.
After its split with Unió Democràtica in July 2015, the party led the formation of the regional Junts pel Sí (JxSÍ, or Together for Yes) coalition, which included the Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya (ERC), Demócratas de Cataluña, Moviment d’Esquerres parties and other movements, to present a united slate in September 2016 Catalan regional elections based on a single-issue electoral platform of securing Catalan independence from Spain. Led by the CDC’s Artur Mas, JxSÍ won 1,628,714 votes for 39.59 percent of the total votes and 62 seats in the Catalan Parlament, nine fewer than held previously in combination by coalition partners but still making it the largest political force in the regional assembly.
In Spain’s 20th December 2015 general election, the CDC joined with the smaller Demòcrates de Catalunya and Reagrupament parties to field candidates from Catalonia’s four provinces in the under the coalition banner of the Democràcia i Llibertat (DiL, Democracy and Freedom), winning 565,501 votes for 2.25 percent of the national vote total, giving it 8 seats and making it the eighth largest party represented in the Congress of Deputies, Spain’s lower house of parliament.
In Spain’s 26th June 2016 general election, the party ran candidates for Congress on its own as the CDC, obtaining 481,839 votes for 2.01 percent of the national vote total, again giving it 8 seats and retaining its position as eighth largest party in the Congress. Both 2015 and 2016 general election results for the party represented fewer than half the customary vote totals won by the CiU coalition at general elections in the 1990s and early 2000s, a performance repeated by CiU in the coalition’s last general election outing in 2011, when it won 1.02 million votes for 16 seats in the Congress of Deputies.
Several years of high-profile court cases over alleged corruption and illegal financing of the party, including the ongoing trial of co-founder Jordi Pujol and family members for alleged money laundering, helped fuel a deteriorating public image for the party marked by a sharp slide in public opinion polls and voter preference at the ballot box in 2015-16. Intent upon improving the party’s image, the CDC leadership opted to re-launch the party and in early July 2016, the party held its last official party Congress as the CDC, immediately re-founding itself in a two-day party conclave as the Partit Demòcrata Europeu Català, a move accompanied by the shift of some control of the party from the “old guard” led by Artur Mas to a new, younger generation of pro-independence party activists.
More information about the Partit Demòcrata Català is available at the following links online:
Updated as of 07/2016