The renewal of the constitutional organs has become a very long chess game between the two major parties, in which the PP, in an absolutely unprecedented manner, keeps the General Council of the Judiciary deadlocked for almost an entire legislature. The Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez and his direct negotiators on the matter – at that time Félix Bolaños, Minister of the Presidency – tried everything with Pablo Casado. The pact was signed practically twice, and at the last moment the PP leader gave in under pressure from the conservative world. Now they are doing it again with Alberto Núñez Feijóo, but they will not wait much longer: if the PP continues to delay it, the executive will directly appoint the two judges who correspond to it in the Constitutional Court, and with it the majority will change without up to wait the PP. The decision, which will come after the Andalusians on Sunday, is ready to be finalized by President Pedro Sánchez.
The last movement was in November 2021. The PSOE and United We Can swallowed a very important political frog: they voted for Enrique Arnaldo, the controversial jurist with close economic ties to the PP, who is accused in a corruption case. Both the Socialists and Yolanda Díaz’s group were adamant at the time that the cost was worth it because in return they could unlock the renewal of the judiciary and now, on June 12, renew the rest of the Constitutional Court to make that happen changes the majority, from conservative to progressive, in line with what the Spanish voted in 2019. But the date has come, and the PP with a new leadership continues to stagnate.
The popular ones have announced that they will broadcast a renewal proposal next month. But the government can no longer endure delays after three and a half years of deadlock. According to sources from the two sectors of the coalition, the executive already has practically everything ready and has even started talking internally about possible candidates to directly renew the two magistrates who correspond to it if the PP continues to falter.
The decision is expected to be made this week, depending on popular reaction after Andalusia’s elections on Sunday, although it is not yet clear when it will be implemented. If the government understands that Alberto Núñez Feijóo’s PP, through the interlocutor it has appointed for this matter, Esteban González Pons, this time has a real will to innovate, it will wait a little. Little.
This is plan a, which would make everything much easier and allow for the ultimate unlocking of judicial and constitutional powers. But if the executive perceives that the PP is again adopting a delay strategy to get through the summer and then delays a little longer until it re-enters the legislature and makes renewal in this legislature impossible, it awaits a possible majority change, will the executive go in the straight line: it will renew the two magistrates that correspond to it, which would lead to an immediate change in majorities, since the two whose mandate has expired are conservatives and the government would introduce two progressives. The executive branch also intends to improve the parity of the constitution, with which it is likely that the proposals will be one or two women.
dance of names
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In government, this matter is treated with great secrecy, but several sources confirm that a name dance is already taking place on the table and there is a debate between the two sectors, the socialist and that of United We Can, which claims that the two names are within agreed by the coalition and not imposed by the PSOE. That internal discussion has not yet been resolved, according to executive sources, so the appointment is not imminent. The last time there was an attempt to renew the judiciary through serious negotiations, the PP blocked it by vetoing a United We Can nominee, Judge José Ricardo de Prada, who introduced the judge’s verdict belt pouch. After the PSOE and United We Can accept Arnaldo for the Constitution, much more controversial than De Prada, a highly respected judge, United We Can is no longer willing to accept a veto. In the last partial renovation, that of Arnaldo, the Diaz group managed to introduce the appointment of a judge of this crucial court, Juan Ramón Sáez. It was the first time in history that the political space to the left of the PSOE achieved this. Now he also wants to influence this renewal.
The government wants to give the PP some time after the Andalusians to see what their real will is. But not much. González Pons last week insisted that the PP was ready to fulfill its constitutional obligation to overhaul the judiciary after three and a half years. But he again made some conditions that sound like excuses to the PSOE and United We Can. “You can’t link the fulfillment of a constitutional mandate to anything,” says a member of the government. “This is extortion. After the renovation we can talk about reforms. But the renewal is mandatory, there can be no conditions,” he adds.
A controversial move
In the executive branch, they are aware that the renewal of the two that correspond directly to them, without waiting for the other two that the now blocked CGPJ must propose, is a controversial measure, widely opposed in the legal world and in the opposition becomes. That’s why it’s not your first choice. But he’s willing to do it when there’s no fast forward because he can’t wait any longer. The Constitutional Court must make decisions on key issues such as abortion, and the executive believes the time for a majority renewal and change cannot be delayed any longer. All sorts of precedents and legal arguments have been examined in government to refute those who say a partial renewal – just the two corresponding to the executive branch – would be unconstitutional.
There are already several reports with a basic argument: there is no law that expressly forbids such a thing, and the teaching of the Constitution itself – sentence 191/2016 – says that blocking one body cannot harm the other, which is happy to renew . In addition, another precedent was sought: in 1980, the Constitutional Court started with 10 of the 12 magistrates because the General Council of the Judiciary had not yet been created, and it did not wait to appoint its two. Now it would not be because it was not created, but because it is blocked, but the executive understands that it can be done just as it was then.
Despite the fact that they are very confident in their legal arguments, the executive wants to avoid the enormous tensions that this decision would bring if possible. But the ball, they insist in the government, is in the hands of the PP, which, according to Pedro Sánchez, who made this demand three months ago, has been “breaking the constitution” for three and a half years. to Alberto Núñez Feijóo when they met in Moncloa. The PP leader then asked for time and then waited for the Andalusians. The time starts on Monday.
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