Alberto Casero managed to enter the Plenary Hall of Congress this Thursday just in time to verify that he had screwed up without remedy. The deputy, one of Teodoro García Egea’s plumbers at the PP’s national headquarters on Génova Street (still for sale), had been ill for several days and requested the telematic vote to participate in this week’s parliamentary session. Important legislative issues were subject to debate, such as the royal decree-law on masks or the most crucial of the labor reform. One of the star projects of the coalition government and that has divided the businessmen, the Budget block and, also, the one on the right into two. The leader of the opposition, Pablo Casado, has publicly clashed with the president of the employers’ association, Antonio Garamendi, on account of the new norm.
Alberto Casero, the PP ‘plumber’ investigated for corruption who was wrong to vote for the labor reform
The PP deputy from Cáceres already voted remotely on Tuesday, as can be seen in the admission for processing of a PSOE bill on SMEs. An option that is only allowed in specific cases: pregnancy, maternity, paternity and serious illness, which includes being positive for Covid or cases of mandatory confinement, but also other ailments. Officially, it is not confirmed what Casero alleged for not attending in person.
In the five points that were submitted to the Lower House that day, he voted the same as the rest of his parliamentary group. The plan for this Thursday was the same, but the execution was not as desired.
According to the reconstruction of what happened, Casero entered the electronic voting system of Congress to exercise his right. 17 different votes, some divided into various points. Despite residing in Cáceres, he is a deputy for the city of Extremadura, he should not be very far from the Lower House. The president, Meritxell Batet, opened the period for the telematic vote at 5:30 p.m. and closed it at 6:15 p.m. 45 minutes of margin for about 30 different elections.
The system issues a receipt at the end of the telematic vote where what is selected in each section is collected. This kind of receipt is used by some groups in the case of secret ballots to verify that no one has skipped the voting discipline. This is what the PSOE did, for example, in the election of the four magistrates of the Constitutional Court last November, when former minister José Luis Ábalos voted blank by mistake. So, they did not allow him to cast a new vote.
When Casero checked the paper, he realized his mistake. He had voted wrong. Just the opposite of what had been ordered by the parliamentary group. he had to choose no in the validation of the royal decree law and Yes in its processing as a bill, but it did it the other way around. Vote Yes at firstY no to the second.
The deputy immediately understood the extent of his mistake and ran to Congress. The vote was going to be very tight, the coalition government had tied up the votes it needed at the last minute after agreeing with the PDeCAT and UPN. There would be three votes difference in favor of validation, but you never know. Or if. The fact is that Casero tried to make amends for his mistake, despite being aware that it would be difficult for him to do so.
He arrived at the Congress and entered the Palace Building, where the Plenary Hall is located. His condition as deputy allows him to move freely around almost the entire Carrera de San Jerónimo complex in Madrid. But it was late. Batet proclaimed the vote, with suspense included due to an error in the count by the Senior Lawyer that the president replied, and anger was unleashed in the ranks of the PP when it was verified that the betrayal of UPN, whose deputies went over to the no without notifying the Government or his own party, supposedly, it would be useless due to the decision of his deputy.
The parliamentary spokeswoman, Cuca Gamarra, assured in a press conference that the services of the Chamber prevented Casero from entering the Hemicycle during the vote to correct his mistake. The rules of the Lower House are clear: when it is time for the vote, a call sounds throughout the complex for the deputies to go to the Hemicycle. Once the signal is silenced, the doors of the Plenary Hall are closed and no one can enter or leave. This rule has been modified by the pandemic and now, as confirmed by several parliamentary sources, the doors are not physically closed. This has meant that, throughout the current legislature, some deputies have been able to slip in even once the voting had begun, according to what parliamentary sources told elDiario.es, although without being able to participate in the voting already closed.
But Alberto Casero finally did manage to enter the Plenary. He late, but he got in. He sat, as can be seen in the image that heads this report, in the third row of the PP bench. In the photograph, he is the deputy that appears over the head of García Egea, his boss in Genoa, looking towards the lens that portrays the moment in which the leadership popular He is aware that his own mistake will allow one of the crucial votes of the coalition government to go ahead.