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Justice conservatives veto progressive candidate but fail to veto their two TC candidates

The conservative members of the General Council of the Judiciary (CGPJ) failed to appoint two candidates for the Constitutional Court, and vetoed the magistrate elected by the progressives. This is the main conclusion of the extraordinary plenary session held by the governing body of judges this Tuesday, in which none of the proposed applicants reached the necessary 11 votes, which require the support of members of both blocs. Ten conservatives and eight progressives. This confirms the blocking of renewal of the warranty court with a delay of more than three months. Although the legal deadline expired on September 13, the plenary met for the first time to vote on the two magistrates to be appointed by the CGPJ.

Negotiations between the two sectors have been stalled for several weeks. This is evidenced by Tuesday’s vote. The sector of members elected by the proposal of the PP unanimously supported the two candidates presented a week ago – the conservative Cesar Tolosa and the progressive Pablo Lucas, who received 10 votes. The progressives also supported their official candidate, José Manuel Bandres, who garnered seven votes. Enrique Lucas, a member proposed by the PNV and usually placed in the progressive sector, did not participate in the vote, as his brother Pablo Lucas was one of the contested names. His abstention did not reduce the necessary quorum, which remained at 11 votes.

The conservatives made another attempt to reduce this quorum: asking the progressive member, Clara Martínez de Carreaga, not to take part in the vote because she is the wife of Candido Conde Pompidou, who is one of the possible candidates for the presidency of the Constitutional Court. . But he refused to do so, and there is no circumvention mechanism in the CGPJ, so this route failed.

In a dissenting vote, conservative member José María Macias argued that the plenary was held “incorrectly” in the presence of Martínez de Careaga. In her opinion, this member should not have participated in the appointment of the person who can decide whether her husband should be appointed as the President of the Constitutional Court. And he adds that if he had abstained, the two candidates proposed by the conservative bloc would have been “effectively appointed”. Also conservatives Carmen Lombardi, Gerardo Martínez Tristan, José Antonio Ballestero and Ángeles Carmona joined this particular vote.

After privately questioning his candidacy, the conservative bloc’s veto of Banderas became clear last week with the offer of Tolosa (his preferred candidate) and Lucas, another name progressives were considering to go to the Constitutional Court. In the internal voting, the majority chose Bandres. His candidacy was supported by the entire group of members elected on the proposal of PSOE and IU, except for member Mar Cabreias, who abstained; and by Enrique Lucas, who did not participate in the voting. With the move, the Conservatives tried to break through the progressive bloc, but Tuesday’s vote shows their strategy backfired.

At the request of conservatives

The plenary session was held at the request of conservatives who, after months of boycotting the appointments, called for an extraordinary meeting to defend a legal reform the government was preparing to break the deadlock by reducing the majority to approval. The new system guarantees that the preferred candidates from each bloc are elected, without cross-vetos.

He considered that the two applicants who received the highest number of votes would be nominated and that each member could vote for only one candidate. In this way, it would be easier for the preferred candidate of the conservatives (Tolos) and the progressives (Bandres), which the majority group wanted to avoid at all costs, because they consider him the candidate of the government. .

That scenario changed this Monday night after the Constitutional Court suspended the review of this reform, which, in practice, prevented members elected under the PP proposal to continue their blocking minority and boycott appointments. The probate court’s decision leaves its renewal up in the air. The position of the majority of the conservative bloc of the Constitutional Court is that the court should not give its approval to the two magistrates chosen by the government, unless they are accompanied by the other two, who are to be chosen by the CGPJ.

The delay in renewing it results in a conservative majority for that body that is not in line with the one that came out of the election. And it is the court that has to decide on such sensitive issues as education reform, abortion or euthanasia.

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Source: El Diario





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