Saturday, September 30

Direct | The Congress votes the candidates for Ombudsman, the TC and the Court of Accounts agreed by PP and PSOE

Plenary session in the Congress of Deputies.

The Plenary of the Congress of Deputies elects this Thursday the candidates agreed by the PSOE and the PP to fill the positions of the constitutional Court and the Court of Accounts that had expired, as well as the new Ombudsman, which had been pending renewal since July 2017.

Input, Everything indicates that all applicants will gather the at least 210 votes they need to overcome this parliamentary procedure, because the PSOE, Unidas Podemos and the PP can reach up to 242 seats – taking into account that Unidos Podemos has not yet filled the vacancy left by former purple deputy Alberto Rodríguez.

Just 242 votes was the support that all the applicants to the TC and the examiner obtained last week when they obtained the endorsement of the Appointments Committee. In that ‘weighted’ vote based on the representation of each party in the Plenary, they did not receive support from any other group.

Voting for the election of the members of these bodies is secret and is usually carried out by ballot and ballot box. Each deputy writes the name of the candidates he supports, so not all of them have to seek the same support.

Secret ballot

For this Thursday, the Board of Congress has decided that all its honorable members vote electronically in order to avoid crowds in the hemicycle, but the system will be the same. That is, each deputy must first transfer in writing the name of the candidates they want to vote for.

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It remains to be seen, therefore, how many votes each candidate gets. From the PP, the PSOE and United We can assume that the lawyer of the Cortes Enrique Arnaldo, proposed by the ‘popular’ for the TC, will reach the necessary 210 votes, despite the fact that he has been questioned by both the socialists and by United We Can for the irregularities in which it would have incurred, according to various media have published.

The President of the Government himself, Pedro Sanchez, has admitted this Wednesday that he does not like “some candidates” of the PP for the High Court, but has guaranteed that socialists and purple will act with “responsibility” without jeopardizing the pact with the “popular”.

Voting with the nose clip

This was the case in the Appointments Committee. The socialist deputy Odón Elorza subjected Arnaldo to a harsh interrogation and later, like his colleagues from United We Can, he gave him his suitability endorsement. Elorza, who will no longer intervene this Thursday before the Plenary, has acknowledged that he and many other socialists will vote “with a clamp on their nose.”

The third vice president of Congress, Gloria Elizo, and the Canarian deputy Meri Pita, both from Podemos, have also questioned the candidacies of Arnaldo and Concepción Espejel, challenged in the ‘Gürtel case’ for their connection to the PP. Others, like the Basque Roberto Uriarte have advanced that they will vote “the lesser evil”.

The general slogan in the PSOE and United We Can is that they will be responsible for ending the blockade in these renovations and for not giving excuses to the PP to continue refusing to relieve the members of the General Council of the Judiciary, who in December will be four years in functions.

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For instance, If only the deputies of the two main parties voted for Arnaldo, he would get 208, leaving two of the minimum necessary, which could be achieved with the support of UPN and Foro Asturias, without the need for the ‘purple’, although it would be a very risky operation due to the tight numbers.

The aspirants

For the TC are also presented, sponsored by the PSOE, the candidacies of Inmaculada Montalbán Huertas, magistrate of the Superior Court of Justice of Andalusia, and Juan Ramón Sáez Valcárcel, magistrate of the National Court.

The candidates to integrate the Court of Accounts that the Congress will vote (the Senate has to elect another six) are the already members of the inspector Enriqueta Chicano Jávega and Dolores Genero; Isabel Fernández Torres, professor of Commercial Law at the Complutense University of Madrid; Diego Íñiguez, magistrate of the Contentious-Administrative Court; José Manuel Otero Lastres, professor of Commercial Law; and Miguel Ángel Torres Morato, chief prosecutor of the Court of Accounts.

All of them also received the endorsement of PSOE, PP and United We Can in the Appointments Commission of Congress, where Junts voted against. Vox and Cs chose not to participate in the voting to guarantee the suitability of the applicants to the TC and the Court of Auditors, considering that it was a mere “theater” in which everything was decided in advance.

Therefore, they will not do it this Thursday either, and the majority of the parliamentary partners of the Government are expected to do the same, who have also distanced themselves from the agreement signed between socialists and popular.

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Gabilondo, with the number of Vox and Ciudadanos

The oranges and those of Santiago Abascal did participate in the Mixed Commission (Congress-Senate) for relations with the Ombudsman and they did so by voting against the candidacy of former socialist minister Ángel Gabilondo, which now has to be ratified by the Plenary Congress and within a maximum period of 20 days by the Senate.

Once the Ombudsman is appointed, the Congress-Senate Mixed Commission will meet again to grant its consent prior to the appointment of the deputies that are proposed by him. In this case, the PSOE and PP have agreed to elect the now ‘popular’ deputy Teresa Jiménez Becerril, who will have to leave her seat, as first deputy, and Patricia Bárcena, who was director of CEAR Euskadi, as second.

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