Friday, January 28

The PSOE and PP close the renewal of the Constitutional Court

Seat of the Constitutional Court.

The PSOE and the PP have agreed on the renewal of four members of the Constitutional Court, pending since 2019, and have also agreed on the replacement for twelve councilors of the Court of Accounts, in addition to placing Ángel Gabilondo as future Ombudsman.

Sources of the PSOE and the PP have made a joint announcement of the names that these three institutions and the Data Protection Agency will renew, a pact that however does not reach the General Council of the Judiciary, where both maintain distant positions: the PP asks a change in the method of election and the socialists want to keep the system in force.

The agreement reached between the PSOE and the PP allows to unblock the renewal of the Constitutional Court when three of its magistrates, including the president and vice president, were about to reach a two-year extension of their mandates, which expired in November 2019.

The room, Fernando Valdes, had to resign last year after being prosecuted for a case of mistreatment.

Sources of the PSOE and the PP have announced this Thursday an agreement that will involve the incorporation of four new magistrates: Enrique Arnaldo Alcubilla, lawyer of the Cortes; Espejel shell, president of the Criminal Chamber of the National Court; Immaculate Montalbán, magistrate of the Superior Court of Justice of Andalusia; and Juan Ramón Sáez Valcárcel, magistrate of the National Court.

The renewal will not substantially alter the distribution of majorities in the guarantee court, with a predominant conservative sector, but it will correct the anomaly of having one less magistrate and give oxygen to a court in which the atmosphere has become rarefied in recent months.

In fact, the three outgoing magistrates – Juan José González Rivas and Andrés Ollero, from the conservative bloc, and Encarnación Roca, proposed at the time by the PSOE– have recently voted against the position of their blocs on matters of great importance, such as the constitutionality of the first state of alarm.

The Conservatives maintain a majority of 7 to 5 in the plenary session pending the renewal of another four members in 2022 (TC magistrates have nine-year terms and renewals are undertaken four in four every three years). On the table are relevant issues such as euthanasia, the second state of alarm, the Celáa Law or abortion.

The new president will come out – according to an unwritten rule that determines that he is chosen from among the four magistrates who are in the last third of his term – from among the conservatives Pedro González-Trevijano, Antonio Narváez and Santiago Martínez-Vares and the progressive Juan Antonio Xiol.

According to the sources consulted by EFE, González Trevijano is the one who has the most ballots to assume the presidency, although for a short time, given that it is part of the quota that must be renewed in 2022, when then the Socialists hope to finish off the change of majorities in the TC.

Until then, Xiol is expected to be the vice president of the court.

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