October 29, 2020

Former socialist justice minister Enrique Múgica dies at 88



The former Socialist Justice Minister and Ombudsman Enrique Múgica died yesterday at 88 years of age, a death that the PSOE has regretted “with enormous sadness” through social networks.

In a tweet, the PSOE praised the Basque politician as “a great defender of democracy, jurist and politician, pioneer and one of the most important personalities of socialism.”

Lawyer, former Minister of Justice and also Ombudsman, Enrique Múgica was born in San Sebastián on February 20, 1932, initially joined the Communist Party in 1953 and was imprisoned in Carabanchel prison for the Francoist repression.

Because of his political activity he was arrested again in 1959 and in 1962. That year he was sentenced in Council of War to 6 years in prison. He served 22 months of sentence. During his stay in prison he left the PCE due to ideological discrepancies, and joined the PSOE. He would spend four times in prison, which added two and a half years in prison.

Member of the Socialist Executive Commission since 1967, in 1974 he was elected Secretary of Coordination of the PSOE in the Congress of Suresnes and on behalf of his party, he was an active part of the Platform of Democratic Convergence (1974-76) and of the Democratic Coordinator, unitary body of opposition to Francoism.

In the 1976 Congress and in the Extraordinary September 1979 he was elected Secretary of Political Relations of the Socialist Federal Executive.

In the first democratic elections, on March 1, 1977, he was elected deputy of the PSOE by Guipúzcoa, renewing his seat for the same party and the same constituency in the successive elections until the year 2000.

On July 8, 1988, he was appointed Minister of Justice in the Government of Felipe González, replacing Fernando Ledesma. Múgica holding the post until March 1991.

On February 6, 1996, in the midst of the campaign for the general elections on March 3, ETA murdered his brother Fernado Múgica.

In the March 2000 elections, he was again elected Socialist deputy, but was proposed by the PP to the position of Ombudsman and on June 15, 2000, he took office, after obtaining the support of Parliament. He abandoned the socialist militancy for this appointment and resigned his seat in which he was replaced by Elvira Cortajarena.

On October 17, 2006, in an unprecedented initiative, the Congress Table agreed to admit a parliamentary initiative of the IU-ICV to be processed, to reprove and request his dismissal as Ombudsman, for having appealed to the Constitutional Court of the Catalan Statute, on September 19. This initiative was rejected in 2007 by the Mixed Commission for Relations with the Ombudsman with the vote of the PSOE, PP and CC.

On June 30, 2010, coinciding with the expiration of his second term, he ceased in office and was temporarily replaced by María Luisa Cava de Llano.

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