The Popular Party appeared this Tuesday in the Congress of Deputies as a champion of “judicial independence” with a bill to reform the method of election of the General Council of the Judiciary (CGPJ) after keep the highest governing body of judges blocked for almost three years. But the majority of the Lower House has overturned its initiative, which has only achieved the support of Ciudadanos.
One thousand days of blockade in the Judicial Power by decision of the PP
In addition, the formation chaired by Pablo Casado has received a string of reproaches from all the other parties for their attitude in the last 36 months and their “hypocrisy” in the face of the renewal of the CGPJ that, in an interim situation since December 2018, maintains the majority Conservative who was elected by Parliament in 2013, when the PP had an absolute majority.
The popular they presented their initiative in order “for the judges and magistrates to participate in the process of directly electing the members of the judicial shift”, among other matters. Likewise, the text sought to modify the Organic Statute of the Public Prosecutor’s Office to establish, among other reforms, the impediment that it could be proposed for the appointment of the State Attorney General “to anyone who has held a political position or political trust in the ten years prior to his appointment “.
Although his party, even under the leadership of Casado, came to close in recent months two agreements with the PSOE to renew the CGPJ that did not bear fruit at the last moment due to different excuses from the popular, the PP spokesperson in Congress, Cuca Gamarra, defended the initiative with the aim of “curbing absolutism” of which she has accused the Executive. In his opinion, the PSOE is “allergic to the separation of powers”, as well as a “victim of the Stockholm syndrome with its separatist partners”. The Government, he added, is “led by the Prime Minister” who submits it “to the vassalage of his autocratic designs.”
“The Prosecutor’s Office refines it” or the control “behind” the Supreme
As soon as she finished her speech, the PP spokesperson, however, saw her speech dismantled by the different spokespersons who, one after another, reminded the popular leader of famous phrases from her fellow ranks that clash with that claim to lead the defense of the ” judicial independence “. From the lectern, different deputies recalled how the former Minister of the Interior, Jorge Fernández Díaz – who will be tried for his involvement in Operation Kitchen – said in a conversation with the head of the Anti-Fraud Office of Catalonia “this the Prosecutor’s Office refines it for you” when They spoke of trying to incriminate pro-independence leaders.
Or how the exporter of the PP Senate, Ignacio Cosidó, boasted in a WhatsApp group in which all the senators were of “controlling the Second Chamber of the Supreme Court from behind” thanks to the first agreement reached by Pedro Sánchez and Pablo Casado to renew the CGPJ, which placed Judge Marchena as its president and who, as a result of the leak of that message, ended up failing.
“They have been in the opposition for 36 months and have been blocked for 36 months because that is how they understand the opposition and the rule of law,” denounced the socialist deputy César Ramos, addressing Cuca Gamarra. “Is that the responsibility of a state party like yours? This is how they understand how constitutional bodies are configured in a state of law?”
In his view, “complying with the law is what makes citizens free in a state of law.” “This is not a war between politicians and judges. This chamber chooses among the judges chosen by the judges. Do not cheat anymore,” he reminded him, before accusing the PP of having “a very poor vision of independence and impartiality.” .
More bluntly, the spokesman for United We Can Jaume Asens considered that the fact that the PP deputies go to Congress “to present themselves as guarantors of judicial independence is a joke.” “The real threat to judicial independence is you, the PP. The problem of judicial independence in this country is you,” he insisted.
Citizens, to the PP: “When did they fall off the horse?”
Criticisms of the PP have also been pronounced by Ciudadanos, the only party that during the debate confirmed its vote in favor of the initiative defended by Gamarra. “The PP believes in the depoliticization of the judiciary. Welcome! Let’s see if it lasts when you come to power because it seems that you forget. When did you fall off the horse?”, Edmundo Bal ironized during his turn to speak. He also accused the PP of taking “taking advantage of 35 years” of the system and the “trading card” that in his opinion represents the renewal of the CGPJ.
From the PNV, his deputy Mikel Legarda charged against the “unjustified blockade of the PP, instrumentalizing for his own benefit a guaranteeing instrument of reinforced majorities.” “The non-renewal of the CGPJ has become for the PP a political trophy that it is not willing to lose. On the part of the PNV, we consider that maintaining the parliamentary appointment on the list does not undermine the best guarantee of independence, nor is it a constitutional requirement that magistrates be chosen by the magistrates “, he has sentenced, before defending that the current model is” the one that best suits the power that is handed over to the judges. ” Legarda has come to accuse the popular to start a “blackmail and obstructionist work”.
Carolina Telechea, from ERC, denounced the “extreme hypocrisy” implied in her opinion by the PP proposal. “To those who the Prosecutor’s Office refines everything and they were going to control the Criminal Chamber of the Supreme Court through the back door,” he pointed out. “They are the disgrace of Europe also because of their corruption cases,” Telechea snapped at Gamarra, whom he accused of proposing his reform of the Judicial Power law “to continue guaranteeing conservative hegemony” and the placement of “all his little friends in the cupola “of the judiciary.
For EH Bildu, the initiative of the popular is nothing more than a “propagandist coup”. “It is necessary to have courage to present this proposal, because the CGPJ depends on the PSOE and UP, right? The reality is that it depends on you, and they do not unblock it because this is how they torpedo, create instability and thus govern from the courts,” said the deputy Jon Iñarritu.
Vox charged against the PP proposal for “insufficient” without revealing the meaning of the vote, and Casado’s had to settle for the only good words they heard during the debate, from their UPN and Forum allies.