Josep Lluis Carod Rovira, president of Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya and vice-President of the Generalitat has finally announced that we won’t seek re-election as the party’s leader. This is the result of about two years’ wrangling within the party over which direction it should adopt to gain more power in Catalonia.
Carod has been a divisive figure in Spanish and Catalan politics (but no more than pretty much any other political leader), and while he led ERC to large gains in 2004, many ERC supporters failed to turn out for the party after it accepted José Montilla as President of the Generalitat. Still, his strategy, as I understand it, has worked pretty well considering that the PSC has definitely radicalised somewhat in a failed effort to snatch Catalanist voters from ERC. Indeed, the drop in support for Esquerra in the recent elections was the result of a terrible election campaign (apparently run by Puigcercós), and large-scale abstention, rather than people actually going and voting for different parties.
This means that Joan Puigcercós will very likely be the next president of the party, unless one of the alternative currents like Esquerra Independentista manage to pull off a coup and nick the top job. Unlikely.
UPDATE: Carod Rovira has now made it clear that he things that Puigcercós should do the honourable thing and follow his example by leaving the way clear for a new leadership. Puigcercós will almost certainly ignore this friendly advice. Carod has also stated that he’ll support the candidature of a new leader, opening up the chance of a genuine contest for the leadership.