The president of the Congress of Deputies, Meritxell Batet, summoned the Vox spokesperson in the Lower House, Iván Espinosa de los Monteros, to her office late on Tuesday. The meeting took place after the tense parliamentary day, in which the extreme right tried to muddy the political climate insulting their political opponents from the seats, reprimanding journalists and rebelling against Parliament’s regulations without complying with the expulsion of one of their deputies, who called a “witch” to another from the PSOE during a debate on the harassment of women who abort.
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Precisely this last matter was the one that motivated the call to chapter of the president of Congress to the spokesperson of the third political force of the Chamber. As elDiario.es has learned from parliamentary sources, Batet wanted to make it clear to Espinosa de los Monteros that “a decision of the Presidency cannot be undermined, whoever exercises it”, alluding to the incident carried out by the Vox parliamentarian Javier Sánchez García.
As soon as the plenary session began on Tuesday and while the first item on the agenda was being debated – regarding the admission for processing of a bill from the PSOE to penalize “harassment” of women who go to clinics that practice voluntary interruptions pregnancy -, the socialist deputy who defended the initiative, Laura Berja, had to listen to insults from Vox deputies throughout the intervention. According to different parliamentarians who were near the bench of the extreme right, they could hear expletives such as “drunk, infanticide or mataniños“.
But the presidency of Congress, held at that time by the vice president of the Lower House, Alfonso Rodríguez Gómez de Celis, he only heard clearly the “witch” that Vox deputy Javier Sánchez García snapped at him to the socialist parliamentarian. The insult led to a huge row in the hemicycle. And Gómez de Celis asked the far-right parliamentarian up to three times to withdraw his “serious” insult.
Sánchez García, a deputy for Alicante and a judge on leave of absence, refused, so the vice president of Congress, following what is established in the Parliament’s regulations, proceeded to expel him after calling him to order three times. Both the deputy involved and the rest of the Vox parliamentarians insubordinate themselves before the highest authority of the Lower House in an unprecedented gesture. And Sánchez García did not leave the hemicycle.
Gómez de Celis, then, decided to suspend the plenary session for ten minutes in which he was seen speaking with Sánchez García and the rest of the Vox deputies in a kind of negotiation. Once the session resumed, the vice president of Congress again demanded that the Vox parliamentarian withdraw his insult and he finally agreed. “Withdrawal that I have called her a witch,” admitted the parliamentarian. In return, the highest authority in Congress allowed him to remain in the House.
What does the regulation of Congress say
Article 104 of the Congress regulations establishes that “the deputy and speaker who has been called to order three times in the same session, warned the second time of the consequences of a third call, will be withdrawn, where appropriate, the word and the President, without debate, may impose the sanction of not attending the rest of the session “.
In the following line, the regulations specify the following: “If the sanctioned deputy does not comply with the request to leave the meeting room, the President will adopt the measures that he deems pertinent to make the expulsion effective. In this case, the Presidency, without prejudice to what is established in article 101, may impose, in addition, the prohibition to attend the next session “. The regulations also indicate that in the event that a deputy utters insults “the President will require the deputy or speaker to withdraw the offenses uttered and will order that they not be recorded in the” Journal of Sessions. “The refusal to this requirement may give rise to successive calls to order “.
This newspaper has contacted the Vox press services to find out what Espinosa de los Monteros argued during his meeting with Batet and his position regarding the sanction of the parliamentarian Sánchez García, but so far no response has been received for part of the extreme right.