Wednesday, March 29

Congress approves the counter-reform of the Judiciary

The spokesman for Ciudadanos, Edmundo Bal, discusses this Thursday with the president of Congress, Meritxell Batet. / EP

The Government, by urgent means, gives the CPGJ two months to appoint two of the four members of the Constitutional Court whose positions are vacant

Miguel Angel Alfonso

Congress has approved this Thursday the reform of the Judiciary that will allow the General Council of the Judiciary (CGPJ) to appoint two of the four magistrates for the Constitutional Court whose position is vacant. All despite the fact that his mandate has expired for three years due to the lack of agreement between the Government and the opposition. It is really a counter-reform by the PSOE to another project presented a year ago by the Executive itself, which prohibited appointments to functions under the argument that there was a conservative majority in the current governing body of judges.

The initiative will be processed urgently – without going through a presentation or commission – and will be sent to the Senate with the intention that it be definitively approved next week. In addition, the Socialists introduced this Wednesday, at the last minute, an amendment in extremis to force the CGPJ to appoint these two members of the TC before a period of 3 months since these two seats became vacant, that is, on September 13 ( this situation occurred on June 13).

PSOE and PP had made a last attempt to reach an agreement to renew the CGPJ with the meeting held on Monday between the Minister of the Presidency, Félix Bolaños, and the Institutional Secretary of the PP, Esteban González Pons. It was the umpteenth attempt to try to unlock a renewal that ended, once again, without an agreement.

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That same day, in addition, the plenary session of the CGPJ revolted against this proposal and agreed by ten votes in favor -including that of the president, Carlos Lesmes- compared to seven against and two blank, to reject the Government’s proposal and request Congress to listen to you for being part of a reform that directly affects you. Something that has not happened.

A group of five members of the CGPJ, aligned with the progressive sector, later issued a private vote to distance themselves from this decision, considering that it “interferes in the political debate.”

The anger moved this Thursday to Congress, where the initiative was voted on in another marathon session that was part of the third day of the debate on the state of the nation. The spirits were heated and the popular felt legitimized legitimized by the European Commission, which a day before had urged Spain to change the system of electing judges as soon as possible to adapt it to European standards. A recommendation that Alberto Núñez Feijóo himself celebrated when considering that it coincides with what he has been asking for from his party since the time of Pablo Casado.

muddy debate

For this reason, the debate ended up muddy, in a climate soured by the scuffles that have been experienced in the chamber throughout the week (the Democratic Memorial Law project had just been debated). The spokesman for Ciudadanos, Edmundo Bal, who also has a position as state attorney, was very critical. On Wednesday he came to blurt out that “Montesquieu has died” when he understood that this affects the separation of powers. This Thursday, he defined the reform project as “one more stone in the path of the week of the excesses of the Government, which assumes the idea of ​​a mediocommunist country of Podemos.”

The PSOE imposes a period of two months on the Judiciary to renew the Constitutional

Luis Santamaría was in charge of defending the PP’s position, and did not lower Bal’s tone, accused socialists and purples of “parasitizing all institutions” and showed that if there was any possibility of understanding or reaching a state pact in this matter after the landing of Feijóo in the main floor of Génvoa, this is already a chimera.

United We Can, for its part, has closed ranks with its government partner. The deputy of United We Can, Martina Velarde, has criticized the PP for using, in her opinion, this debate to “talk about Venezuela and ETA. They are putting it with a shoehorn to excuse their vote against measures that favor the families of this country or so that justice is not done with the victims of Francoism ».

Lesme’s response

The president of the Supreme Court and the General Council of the Judiciary, Carlos Lesmes, has assured this Thursday from La Palma that he will make an effort to appoint the two new members of the TC, although he has stressed that he cannot guarantee it either because for this they must put according to at least 12 of the 18 current vowels. “It is up to me to convene the Plenary, because I will convene a Plenary in a reasonable time and I will set the agenda (…), prior to that date”, he stated.

However, at the same time, he stressed that “something more than calling a plenary session and setting it on the agenda is necessary”, “and that is for the members to agree on two candidates”. “I will make an effort to ensure that this situation occurs, but I cannot guarantee it either,” he has limited.

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