The Constitutional Court has not reached unanimity to endorse the appointment of four new members of the plenary session. Nine magistrates have voted in favor of recognizing the suitability of the four approved candidates by Congress while one, in a secret ballot, has spoken against it. At the moment the identity of the member of the court of guarantees is not known, who considers that the four future magistrates do not meet the requirements required by law.
Enrique Arnaldo and the kidnapping of Justice
The plenary session of the Constitutional Court met today to examine the four future members of the body. The Organic Law of the Constitutional Court explains in its article 10.1.i that they are in charge of “verifying compliance with the requirements for the appointment of a Magistrate of the Constitutional Court.”
The vote, in tune with all the relevant deliberations of the last year, has not been peaceful. In a secret ballot, one of the members of the plenary has voted against recognizing that the four future magistrates meet the requirements required by law. Neither Enrique Arnaldo, nor Concepción Espejel, nor Inmaculada Montalbán nor Juan Ramón Sáez. The guarantee court explains in a statement that “said agreement has been adopted in all four cases by a majority of 9 votes in favor and one against.”
The four candidates agreed by the PP and PSOE to renew a third of the Constitutional have also received a controversial endorsement from the Congress of Deputies today. The name of Enrique Arnaldo, the most controversial proposal due to its relationship without criminal consequences with corruption cases, has received the endorsement of the lower house but with eleven votes less than expected. The appointments, in any case, have gone ahead with the majority of votes from the PSOE, PP and United We can benches.
One of the deputies who have acknowledged having broken voting discipline has been Odón Elorza. The socialist parliamentarian had already explained in various interviews and speeches that he would vote with “a clamp on his nose” and finally he has not supported Arnaldo.
The appointment of Enrique Arnaldo is the one that has raised the most controversy in recent weeks, even above Concepción Espejel, president of the criminal chamber of the National Court, removed from the Gürtel case due to its proximity to the PP. Arnaldo was charged at the time in the Palma Arena corruption case together with Jaume Matas, but the case was closed due to the statute of limitations and was never tried.
Later, his name came up again in the Lezo corruption case when investigators intercepted a conversation with Madrid’s president Ignacio González. In that conversation, Arnaldo assured that he was going to try a change in the Prosecutor’s Office to favor González’s interests.