The General Council of the Judiciary has approved this Thursday six of the eight planned appointments with adjusted majorities, in some cases, with the minimum required. It is a square of the Civil Chamber of the Supreme Court and the presidencies of the Superior Courts of Justice of the Basque Country and the Canary Islands, that of the Social Chamber of the Basque Supreme Court and those of the provincial courts of Salamanca and Almería. The other two places, corresponding to the First and Fourth Chambers of the Supreme Court respectively, they have withdrawn when no candidate has been able to gather a sufficient number of endorsements.
It is the first time since last September, when the appointments were resumed after the failed agreement of July for the renewal, that the Plenary votes the appointments with this fragmentation, since the 26 positions that have been filled in those last four plenary sessions left ahead with overwhelming majorities of 18 (and even in some cases, 19) endorsements of the possible 21. On this occasion, it was clear that these were more complicated places to manage, and proof of this is that some, such as the presidency of the Supreme Court of the Canary Islands, had been dragging on for a year. To this is added, in addition, the division that already existed among the members regarding the decision to continue with the appointments, especially after the announcement of the negotiations for the renewal of the constitutional bodies which, although it was fruitful in the case of the Board of Directors of Radiotelevisión Española, the same has not happened with the rest of the pending institutions.
That was the reason that led the ordinary plenary session last Thursday to postpone these eight appointments until today awaiting a deal that seemed imminent at the time. However, Podemos’ insistence on proposing to judge José Ricardo de Prada has paralyzed the negotiation without it being clear to this day whether or not the contacts between PSOE and PP will be resumed.
Among the appointments approved this Thursday is only one of the three Supreme Court positions that were on the agenda: one of the two vacancies in the Civil Chamber, which has fallen on the former president of the Professional Association of the Magistracy (APM) Antonio García, who has had the 13 votes required. With these same guarantees, but in a second vote, the appointments of Ignacio Subijana for the presidency of the Supreme Court of the Basque Country and of Juan Luis Lorenzo Bragado for that of the Supreme Court of the Canary Islands have gone ahead.
Waiting for a law and an agreement
For her part, Garbiñe Biurrun has been elected president of the Social Chamber of the Basque TSJ with 12 votes, while José Antonio Vega Bravo and Luis Miguel Columna have been elected president of the provincial audiences of Salamanca and Almería with 14 and 13 votes respectively. The other two seats of the Supreme Court that have not achieved sufficient support will be transferred to the Plenary Session scheduled for March 25, but they would not be voted if by then the law that seeks to limit the powers of a CGPJ is already in force in office, including appointments. Similarly, if by that date the PSOE and PP agreement has already been forged which is now paralyzed, these appointments would not be voted on either, which would already be in charge of the next Council.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism