Sunday, February 5

The Constitutional annuls the ‘sanitary cordon’ to Vox in the Basque Parliament

The Constitutional Court has decided to agree with Vox and annul the ‘sanitary cordon’ that the Basque Parliament had imposed around the only representative of the extreme right, Amaia Martínez Grisaleña, by limiting her interventions, ability to present initiatives and ask questions in control sessions. The magistrates, with four votes against the progressive sector of the court of guarantees, also annulled the decision to prevent the group from being called “Vox mixed group”.

Vox plants Urkullu after considering the sanitary cord “unpresentable” and because “a call for violence is being made” against them

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Vox entered the Basque Parliament with a seat in the July 2020 elections, postponed due to the first wave of COVID-19. He was assigned to the Mixed Group but, unlike what happened with the previous party in the same situation, UPyD, his time for speaking and his ability to present initiatives was reduced by a third. It was part of a cordon sanitaire agreed by all the other groups except the PP+Cs coalition. It was alleged that the Mixed Group has a maximum capacity of three members and that 33% was its proportional share.16:11

This “cordon sanitaire”, advanced at the time by, limited the capacity for parliamentary action of the sole representative of Vox: she could present an initiative every three ordinary plenary sessions, limited her time to intervene in the debates to a third party and to one interpellation and four oral questions every three plenary sessions of control to the Basque executive.

The Constitutional recalls that the regulations of the Basque chamber “establishes a regime of equality for all parliamentary groups, without any distinction between one and the other.” However, in this case, the Board has established, say the magistrates, “two different criteria to distribute the possibilities of presenting initiatives and the intervention times of the groups.”

The magistrates also annul the agreement of the Parliamentary Table of August 13, 2020, which rejected that the mixed group be called, as the far-right group requested, “Vox mixed group”. The Constitutional understands that the regulations of the Basque chamber allow, among other things, to change the name of the group, even more so in a case in which it is made up of a single parliamentarian from a single party such as Amaia Martínez Grisaleña representing Vox. “Furthermore, the decision adopted by the Board of the Basque Parliament not only has not argued its denial decision, but has departed from “parliamentary uses”, because in previous legislatures”, when it has allowed the name change of the mixed group.

Apart from these measures now annulled, PNV, EH Bildu, Elkarrekin Podemos-IU and sporadically also the PSE-EE refuse to reply to some initiatives presented by Martínez Grisaleña. This was the case of the unprecedented attempt in the Chamber to veto the arrival of foreign minors in foster care, in which only Vox and PP+Cs intervened.

Vox will be like UPyD

Sources of the Basque Parliament confirm that they have received the notification of the Constitutional this noon. At the moment, no meeting is scheduled to assess the situation and they will assess the changes that are coming in parliamentary dynamics at the weekly meeting of the Bureau, which is held every Tuesday. In this body there are two representatives of the PNV, one of EH Bildu, one of the PSE-EE and one of Elkarrekin Podemos-IU. The sources consulted indicate that Vox will operate as UPyD did in the 2012-2016 legislature, which will lengthen the plenary sessions and the interventions of Vox.

The sentence has not been unanimous and will have individual votes of four magistrates from the progressive sector: Vice President Juan Antonio Xiol, Cándido Conde-Pumpido, Ramón Sáez and Inmaculada Montalbán. They understand that Vox’s appeal should have been dismissed, although their arguments will not be known for a few days.

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