Government and PP have held a first meeting to resume contact for the renewal of the constitutional bodies after the location that this Wednesday Pablo Casado made to Pedro Sánchez in the control session of Congress. The opposition leader has urged the president to renew the organizations that have expired, with the exception of the Judiciary, for which he maintains the veto. The Executive has taken the gauntlet immediately and the Minister of the Presidency, Félix Bolaños, has telephoned the general secretary of the PP, Teodoro García Egea, to resume contacts. Both, who led the failed negotiations of a few months ago, met in Congress on Wednesday afternoon.
One thousand days of blockade in the Judicial Power by decision of the PP
“They have begun to continue talking to be able to reach an agreement that allows their unblocking, as mandated by law and the Constitution,” state government sources after the meeting. From the PP they assure that they will “continue talking” and that there has been “nothing conclusive”, although they point out that what is “offered” in the first contact is going “well”.
The Government’s approach is that all the institutions that have their mandate expired are renewed while Casado intends to circumscribe it to the Court of Accounts, the Constitutional Court and the Ombudsman and leave out the General Council of the Judicial Power (CGPJ) for which it maintains the veto. The PP, which since 2018 has made different excuses to prevent the change in the governing body of the judges, now insists on changing the law to agree to modify its composition. However, the meeting also addressed the update of the CGPJ.
The Government rejects this legal modification which would consist of the judges electing a part of the CGPJ. Despite the fact that it is a European recommendation, the Socialists maintain that the Congress and the Senate, where popular sovereignty resides, must be ratified by the members of the Judiciary. In addition, the Executive recalls that the current system contemplates that the judicial career makes a preselection of judges that the Courts later elect by a three-fifths majority.
“We are trying to convince the PP to renounce that constitutional insubordination,” said the number two of the PSOE, Adriana Lastra, in an interview in the 24 Hours of TVE in which he recalled that the “urgency” that Brussels indicates is that the Judicial Power be renewed. “The PP cannot pretend that the law be changed because if it does not block, what it is doing is blackmailing Congress,” said Lastra.
PP sources assure that “it was important to open a window of opportunity” after months of lockdown. Conservatives dynamited the agreement in 2018 when then-Senate spokesman Ignacio Cosidó boasted in a WhatsApp sent to his parliamentary group of “control” the Criminal Chamber of the Supreme Court “from behind”. Those words provoked the resignation of Manuel Marchena, which was the name agreed to preside over the CGPJ. At that moment the appearances of the members in the Cortes had begun.
The talks were resumed after the general elections and the Government assured that the agreement was 99% when Casado decided to break up the talks. Genoa has made different excuses to avoid renewal -among them the participation of United We Can in the distribution or the veto of Judge De Prada-. Now he insists on reforming the law that regulates the Judiciary. “This blockade is his sole responsibility,” Casado told Sánchez in the morning. “You don’t want to,” the president replied. Both parties now agree to hold talks after the first contact.