The PP has sent a letter to the Minister of the Presidency, Félix Bolaños, in which they describe a future progressive majority in the Constitutional Court as "abusive" but affirm that their hand "is outstretched" to "try again to overcome the blockade ” of the Judiciary, after the threat of Carlos Lesmes to present his resignation in "weeks" if an agreement is not reached. The resignation ultimatum is the latest episode in a scenario of paralysis caused by the PP itself, which has resisted all this time to lose its power in one of the key institutions of the State.
Bolaños has responded shortly after, describing the letter as "Attempt to pretend to face the gallery." “If they really wanted to renew, they can call me by phone and in one afternoon we will renew the Judiciary. They have sent an eleven-page document full of excuses, red lines and conditions. I respond to Feijóo with three words: comply with the law. Either you are with the rule of law or you are unwilling to comply with the law”, he stated at a press conference in Logroño this Friday.
The Minister of the Presidency has asked to “give time” for the members of the Judiciary to comply with the law and appoint the two Constitutional magistrates that correspond to them before September 13. “The only thing the Government shows is its maximum respect. They have a legal term that the law establishes and from the Government the only thing we want is that they do their job calmly and without pressure and that of course they comply with the law”, he pointed out.
The PP calls the progressive majority in the Constitutional “abusive”
In the letter, signed by Esteban González Pons, the PP criticizes the Executive and describes as "abusive" the progressive majority that would occur with the replacement in the Constitutional Court, now with a conservative majority. “A full constitutional regime requires a Constitutional Court that all citizens can trust. Winning the Constitutional for a Government is losing it for the citizens. The polls grant a reasonable majority to the Government in the negative legislator, but never one as abusive as the one that is being considered at the moment”, collects the letter from Pons, deputy secretary of Institutional Policy of the Popular Party.
The Constitutional is composed of eleven members after the resignation in July of the conservative Alfredo Montoya for health reasons. Today six of them are conservative and five progressive. Those whose mandate has expired are three conservatives and one progressive and, derived from the established election system, three progressives and one conservative should take office this time. That majority of six to five in favor of the conservatives will therefore turn into another progressive of seven to four.
Even when later the conservative majority in the Senate that was in force when the outgoing Montoya was elected is respected, and he is replaced by another magistrate at the proposal of the PP, there will continue to be a progressive majority of seven to 5 in the Constitutional.
The new composition of the Constitutional Court, when it is renewed, will have to decide on matters as relevant as the Law on Abortion Deadlines, appealed by the PP 12 years ago, the one known as the Celáa Law of Education –by the socialist minister who approved it– , the Euthanasia Law or the reform of the CGPJ that the Government approved to prevent the body from appointing judges with expired mandates, as was happening due to the PP's refusal to renew the Judicial Power.
The conditions of the PP
The PP asks as a condition that in the selection process for the renewal of the Judiciary, judges who were not candidates backed by their colleagues are not proposed "for the turn of jurists" and that the election of the president be carried out by the members "without prior agreements or external indication of any kind” in both the Judicial and Constitutional Powers. Simultaneously with the renewal, they propose promoting a bill by urgent means to reform Justice.
This Wednesday, during his speech at the inauguration of the judicial year, Carlos Lesmes asked Alberto Núñez Feijóo and Pedro Sánchez to renew the governing body of the judges and assured that he would resign in “weeks” if that pact did not take place. A day later, on Thursday, the extraordinary plenary session of the Judiciary ended without an agreement regarding the two appointments that corresponds to carry out in the Constitutional. Only some "procedural rules" were established on the designation of the applicants, but their names were not discussed, so that the process will be delayed and it will be impossible to comply with the law, which after its last modification sets the deadline in next Tuesday, September 13. The Government has decided not to appoint its two Constitutional magistrates until the governing body of the judges appoints its own.