Pedro Sánchez and Carles Puigdemont, in the Palau de la Generalitat in 2016.Albert Garcia
The Government and the parties that make it up were careful yesterday to publicly enter into a clash with the Constitutional Court (TC), but in private several of its members expressed their discomfort at the decision not to admit Carles Puigdemont’s appeal against his last arrest warrant. In the acting Executive they stressed that it is an unprecedented decision, in full vacation and adopted by two magistrates clearly aligned with conservative positions. In the Government, it is concerned that certain judicial decisions could cloud the negotiations with the independence movement, first to set up the new Congress Table on the 17th and, later, to try to investiture Pedro Sánchez.
Although the acting Executive does not want to open public controversies, among its members there is a widespread conviction that there is a “judicial right” that will do everything possible to torpedo attempts to revalidate Sánchez’s mandate with the support of the independence movement and, more specifically , from the party of the fugitive Puigdemont. One of the two magistrates who adopted the decision is Concepción Espejel, whose appointment to the Constitutional Court had already raised a lot of dust due to her professional career, always closely linked to the PP.
Despite the annoyance over the ruling of the TC, some member of the Executive took advantage of it to send warning messages to Catalan nationalism of the consequences that the PP and its allies seized power could have, if they do not lend themselves to clear the way to a new progressive government.
On the pro-independence side, the resolution was greeted with little surprise. The idea that justice plays with marked cards when it has to decide on a cause that affects any of the leaders of the process is a constant in the secessionist discourse. “All in order. For years the TC’s job has been to legally decorate a State strategy against the independence movement. And the strategy does not close for holidays”, stated Jordi Turull, General Secretary of Junts per Catalunya. Gonzalo Boye, Puigdemont’s lawyer, showed his protest because he assured that he had learned of the Constitutional ruling through the media, before formally receiving the notification.
Junts and Esquerra Republicana, with seven seats each, have a decisive role in endorsing the re-election of the progressive government, against the alliance of the PP with the extreme right. The Republicans disassociate the judicial resolution on Puigdemont from the negotiations for the investiture. None of the training charges has come out to encourage the figure of the former president installed in Belgium. For Junts, on the other hand, the Constitutional ruling serves as an excuse to denounce the scorched relationship that the party maintains with “the powers of the State” and, by extension, with the Sánchez government. A source close to the leadership of the neoconvergent formation points out that “Junts has no incentive” to facilitate the investiture of the socialist leader.
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Turull also denied that progress has been made in the negotiations of his group with the parties of the Executive branch in office to make it easier for the Socialists to maintain the presidency of the Congress of Deputies and prevent the right from taking control of the governing bodies of the Camera.
The Constitutional decision fell in the midst of these negotiations, eight days after the opening of the new Courts is formalized and the horizon has not yet cleared as to how this first test to measure future majorities in Congress will be resolved. Between the PSOE and Sumar there are no problems in sight. Yolanda Díaz’s formation accepts that the Socialists claim the presidency of the Chamber, even without knowing the candidate they will present after the resignation to continue in the position of Meritxell Batet. There is also a coincidence in her willingness to cede a position on the Board to the nationalist formations, most likely to the PNV. And the two endorse the best negotiating asset available to them to win the support of the pro-independence supporters: the guarantee that ERC and Junts will have their own parliamentary group despite the fact that their results on 23-J do not meet the strict requirements for this required by the Regulations of the Congress.
The Socialists are trying to ensure that the negotiation adheres to those terms, without entering into other types of political demands of the independence movement, which would be addressed in due course when considering the investiture of Sánchez. The PP could try to counteract these movements of the PSOE and seek votes on its own to control the Table, but popular sources assure that, for the moment, they have not started any kind of negotiation, reports Virginia Martínez.
Meanwhile, Sumar also wants to open negotiations on a new government program. Díaz’s formation sent an extensive document to the PSOE last week, which, in turn, replied with another that Sumar sources define as excessively generic and imprecise. Ernest Urtasun, spokesman for Sumar, reproached the PSOE this Wednesday, which he blamed on a programmatic “lack of ambition”, in statements to SER.
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