The former President of the Catalan Parliament, Carme Forcadell.
Carme Forcadell i Lluís, born in 1955, graduated in Philosophy and in Communication Sciences from the Autonomous University of Barcelona, and completed a Masters in Catalan Philology at the same university. As a professor of secondary education, up until 2015, she worked as a consultant to the Catalan Ministry for Education, within the Catalan civil service, focusing on matters relating to language, interculturality and social cohesion.
The majority of her political work was carried out in the Third Sector, where she helped bolster a range of important projects and social movements relating to culture and democracy. In 2012, Carme was elected as President of the Catalan National Assembly (ANC), an organisation which seeks to create an independent Catalan state by democratic means. The ANC was behind the campaign “Catalonia, the new state in Europe”, which in 2012 brought more than 1.5 million supporters out onto the streets of Barcelona to show their support for Catalan independence. One year later, the ANC organised the “Catalan Way towards Independence”, a human chain that covered more than 400 kilometres, crossing the whole of Catalonia from north to south. In 2014, there was another demonstration in Barcelona, bringing together 2 million supporters who called for a referendum on Catalan independence. It should be noted that none of these actions were violent. In 2015, Carme resigned from her role as president of the ANC and put herself forward as a candidate for the elections to the Parliament of Catalonia, as part of the Junts Pel Sí (‘Together for Yes’) coalition.
This political alliance brought together two of the three pro-independence parties. During the elections, the coalition managed to win a majority of the seats. Carme was then elected as President of the Parliament of Catalonia. Nobody voted against her candidacy for President. The legislature itself was rather short-lived, lasting from 2015 to 2017. However, it was nevertheless an intense moment for Catalan politics, and was defined by the determination of the majority of the Parliament as they sought to bring about an independence referendum for Catalonia. At the same time, everyday parliamentary life became increasingly judicialised. Of the 26 laws passed by the Parliament of Catalonia, 13 of those laws would be totally overruled or partially suspended by the Spanish Constitutional Court.