Catalan separatist Jordi Sánchez held a press conference from a Madrid prison Thursday as campaigning for the general elections slated for Apr. 28 stepped up a gear with the unconventional event.
Sánchez, who is the leading candidate for Together for Catalonia (JxCat), appeared before reporters via a live-streamed video from the Soto del Real prison in the capital in a press conference organized by EFE.
The politician appeared with a Spanish flag and a portrait of the King Felipe VI of Spain behind him.
“On the 28A we are gambling not only who will govern, but over and above any other consideration, who will sway Pedro Sánchez,” the Catalan said.
Sánchez launched the press conference, which was approved by the Central Electoral Commission late Wednesday, by sending a message to the governing Socialist Party (PSOE) that his party could be a "stable partner" if Pedro Sánchez were to accept a referendum.
The PSOE has consistently ruled this out as a possibility.
"The referendum will form part of the solution," Sánchez continued, adding that he thought the PSOE would eventually concede.
The Catalan said that even though a future referendum would have to be firmly on the table in order to back a socialist government, the JxCat would not be putting on pressure for this to be agreed on prior to the socialist leader being sworn into office.
His condition to the socialists was that Pedro Sánchez accepted "the compromise that he would get to work in order to find a solution that would lead to a ballot, a referendum."
During the press conference, Sánchez welcomed that the far left wing party Podemos had placed a referendum on Catalan independence as a key proposal within its party program.
Sánchez reminded reporters that he had fought for the JxCat coalition to present itself to forthcoming elections alongside one of the oldest Catalan nationalist parties Republican Left of Catalonia (ERC), but that because this had not been possible he made a call for "unity."
He urged voters to "look to the future" and to work towards a grand coalition after the April ballot in order to then take on a potential negotiation with the PSOE.
The leading candidate who is hoping to garner enough votes to become Catalonia's president said he did not feel betrayed by the ERC after they rejected a three-pronged approach to the general elections with the JxCat coalition.
Sánchez's message to reporters and voters was a call for dialogue in order to unlock the impasse on Catalan independence which saw 12 pro-independence leaders jailed.
The group of pro-Catalan independence activists and politicians are currently on trial in the Spanish capital.
He appealed "to the socialists that want to put an end to this blockade that Spanish politics has imposed," so that together "we can have the capacity to sit at a table and to be a bloc in order to configure a solution for the future."
The former Catalan National Assembly leader concluded by making a call to look forward and said that JxCAT would be doing just this from a position of "unity and transversality" so as to place Catalonia at the heart of solutions.
The JxCAT party is led by Carles Puigdemont, former Catalan president, who is in self-imposed exile in Belgium.
Puigdemont has been staying in Belgium to avoid appearing before the Spanish National Court for the investigation regarding his leading role in Catalonia's process of secession which ended with a unilateral declaration of independence on Oct. 27.EFE-EPA