The PP castles itself on its demands on the Judiciary but remains in a minority in Congress
The Minister of the Presidency, Félix Bolaños, this Tuesday, with the PP delegation, Cuca Gamarra, in Congress.JJ Guillén / EFE

No progress on the blocked Judiciary or on any of the constitutional bodies out of mandate. The bilateral meeting between the Government and the leadership of the PP parliamentary group in Congress that they held this Tuesday and lasted only 45 minutes, confirmed that they persist in their positions and that no possibility of an agreement is in sight. The Executive and the PSOE reaffirmed that they are open to discuss with the PP and with the entire parliamentary arch about a reform of the organic law of the Judicial Power to give a more direct role to the judges in the election of the organ of their government, as recommended now the European Union and the most relevant associations of judges are demanding, but if this Council is renewed now and with the current system. The PP included all its latest demands, since the processing of that legal reform and the vetoes of Podemos and other parties in the negotiation began, in a proposal to reform that law that will be debated and defeated this Tuesday in the Congress. The institutional jam continues.

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In the meeting on Tuesday between the Government and the PP in Congress, the Minister of the Presidency, Félix Bolaños; the Secretary of State for Relations with the Courts, Rafael Simancas, and the Director General for Relations with the Courts, Mercedes Cabrera; and on behalf of the Popular Parliamentary Group the spokesperson, Cuca Gamarra, the general secretary, Guillermo Mariscal, and the deputy general secretary, Isabel Borrego. The appointment did not bear fruit.

The PP has been demanding for weeks some bilateral contact between the president, Pedro Sánchez, and its leader, Pablo Casado, who have not spoken directly to each other for months, but the Government argues that this meeting does not make sense given the level of the attacks they receive from the popular ranks and because they understand that it is the PP and its president who has placed themselves outside the constitutional and institutional margins by refusing to negotiate and only claiming the imposition of their conditions.

The Government confirmed this Tuesday, regarding the renewal of the Judiciary, “that the PP continues to be rooted in not complying with the Law or the Constitution and that, therefore, they fail to comply with the requirements of the European Commission and its Commissioner for Justice, who has requested that the Council is urgently renewed in accordance with current law ”, according to socialist sources after the meeting. “Compliance with the law cannot be made subject to condition. You cannot violate a law because a party that does not have a parliamentary majority has decided to change its mind and now wants to impose its will on the majority, ”the same sources remarked.

From the ranks of the PP that version was contested and it was pointed out against “the ministerial party” as the culprit of “blocking the renewal by maintaining the same position announced before the meeting by the spokesman of the Socialist Parliamentary Group”, Héctor Gómez, contrary to to support the taking into consideration of the Proposal of Law registered and defended in the afternoon of this same Tuesday by the spokesperson of the PP. PSOE sources in the Chamber stressed in this regard that the vote and the foreseeable defeat in the plenary session of this proposal, in which the popular ones insist on starting the debates on the legal reform before “immediately renewing” the Council with the current system , indicates what are the real and current support of the PP in Congress. The socialist spokesman even blamed them for not having yet assumed their role in the opposition.

Before the plenary session and in the debate itself, the PP spokesperson, Cuca Gamarra, called on the PSOE to assume his proposal as “serious and sensible” and attributed the support to his ideas of the European Union, the Commissioner of Justice of the Union European, Didier Reynders, and of all judicial associations. Although the European commissioner yesterday urged to renew the Judicial Power with the current model, before tackling any other reform. Gamarra pointed out at first that for the PP it would be enough for the PSOE to take into consideration and allow the debate of its initiative to undertake the renewal of the Judiciary but later, asked if other conditions that were raised in the course of These three years of frustrated negotiations, the PP leader acknowledged that they were not and that those that he described as “principles” were still in force and among those that remain in force that United We can not be part of these negotiations, neither Vox or other formations, and the vetoes personal to magistrates such as José Ricardo de Prada or Victoria Rosell. “We are not going to move from our principles of guaranteeing judicial independence,” he proclaimed.

The PSOE spokesman, Héctor Gómez, was the one who conveyed the party’s opinion and the government’s position, even in advance, to the bilateral meeting and debate in plenary. Gómez attacked Casado, whom he disqualified as a “disoriented leader and without a sense of the State”, blamed him all the responsibility for this institutional jam for wanting to change the rules of the game with the legal reform of the Judicial Power “in the middle of the game and with the process already started ”and, finally, he highlighted the problem of lack of support and votes from the PP to change that law:“ The PP is in the opposition, it is not up for ultimatums, what is very serious is that Casado does not respect the laws and constitutional mandates ”. The socialist leader did repeat several times that the Executive would open up to discuss and debate “from a broad and open perspective” with all parties and judicial associations possible improvements and contributions to the future law of the Judiciary, including granting a more direct role to the judges in the selection of that body, if the current Council on the procedure in force is changed.

However, a modification of an organic law of this importance requires months of debate and can take even more than a year. The PP defends that with emergency procedures and if they agree only with the PSOE it could be resolved in just 45 days.

The General Council of the Judiciary ended its five-year term in 2018, on the basis of a political agreement signed in 2013 by the Executive with an absolute majority of the PP of Mariano Rajoy and the PSOE that Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba then led in the opposition. That political scenario changed in the last elections, three years ago. The system still in force allows judges to present their candidacies with a minimum of endorsements from their peers to occupy 12 of the 20 advisory positions, but the final election is decided by the parties in Congress and the Senate. The other eight advisers come from renowned jurists.

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