Since the beginning of the pandemic, the Popular Party has supported up to three times and without objection to suspend the telephone verification of the telematic vote in the Congress of Deputies, the main route used by the deputies to cast their votes in the face of the health restrictions that follow. also affecting the lower house.
Anatomy of a moment in Congress: the 40 seconds that the labor reform was repealed
This position of the popular now takes on special relevance since one of the arguments put forward by the leadership of Pablo Casado to demand that the vote of his deputy Alberto Casero be suspended, who was wrong last Thursday and, with his vote, allowed the validation of the the Government’s labor reform, is that Congress did not check the parliamentarian’s vote by telephone.
Yesterday, the Popular Parliamentary Group sent to the press the authorization of the General Secretariat of Congress to Casero to cast his vote through the telematic procedure last Thursday, in which it is emphasized that it is carried out under the terms of “the Resolution of the Table of the Chamber for the development of the telematic voting procedure, of May 21, 2012”.
The PP recalls that said resolution “establishes in its fourth section that ‘after exercising the vote through the telematic procedure, the Presidency, or body to which it delegates, will verify by telephone, with the authorized deputy, before the start of the vote in person in the Plenary , the effective emission of the vote and the meaning of this. This verification was not carried out in the case of the deputy, “they add.
Username and password “as verification method”
But that section 82 of the regulations of the Lower House, which, in effect, includes the need for this telephone ratification, was annulled on three occasions by the Congress Table due to the pandemic, given that the proliferation of telematic voting due to the restrictions derived from the The health emergency made it difficult to verify each of the deputies by telephone. And the PP was not only in favor of this suspension, but, as elDiario.es has learned, it did not express any objection to the measure, which was unanimously approved by the Board on three occasions.
The first of them was on March 20, 2020, just six days after the first state of alarm for COVID-19 was decreed. At that time, the Congress Table unanimously concluded –also with the support of the PP– that “the vote will be cast through the Chamber’s intranet, with the introduction of a username and password, as a method of verifying the personal casting of votes”.
Three months later, on June 16, 2020, the Table again ratified this method of verifying the telematic vote, also with the support of the PP. It was thus established that “until the end of the health crisis situation caused by COVID-19” deputies can cast their telematic vote “in the same terms as those established in the agreement of the Table of March 19, 2020”.
The highest body of the Lower House endorsed for the third time the suspension of the telephone call as a method of verifying the telematic vote just four months ago, on October 26. Again unanimously, and without the PP expressing any objection, the Congress Table stressed that “voting will be done through the Chamber’s intranet, with the introduction of a username and password, as a method of verifying the personal casting of vote.
Since last Thursday’s controversial vote, the PP has submitted six briefs to the Table trying to annul the error of its deputy Alberto Casero, who was wrong to vote electronically and voted ‘yes’ to the validation of the labor reform when the leadership of his party ordered to vote ‘no’. Initially, the ‘popular’ tried to blame this mistake on a “computer error” for which they blamed the congressional computer scientists. Later they put that theory aside and attribute what happened to a “ribbling” instigated by the president of Congress, Meritxell Batet.
All the writings sent since Thursday have been addressed to her. That same day, late at night, he sent a first text to Batet “so that he urgently convene the Congress Table to discuss his decision to prevent a deputy from voting in person after warning of a failure in the telematic vote.”
The following day, on Friday, Alberto Casero himself sent another letter to the president of Congress in which he states that “his fundamental right to exercise the vote established in the Spanish Constitution has been violated.” “Since one of the votes cast is contrary to the meaning expressed by me through the telematic system,” she pointed out.
Also on Friday, the PP spokeswoman in Congress, Cuca Gamarra, registered another letter that she addressed to Batet “in which she requests that the vote on the labor counter-reform held yesterday not be published [por el jueves] in plenary and that the resolution ordering the publication of the Validation Agreement of Royal Decree-Law 32/2021, of December 28, on urgent measures for labor reform, in the Official State Gazette not be issued” .
Minutes later, the second vice president of Congress, Ana Pastor, and the fourth secretary of Congress, Adolfo Suárez, sent the president of Congress a new text “requesting again that the Congress Table urgently convene, after spending more than twelve hours without having responded to the first request for a meeting of the Table” made by the PP.
Petitions to convene the Bureau and the Board of Spokespersons
In a fourth letter sent to Batet on Friday, Gamarra requested “the urgent convocation of the Board of Spokespersons due to the contempt of the president of Congress towards the deputies for not having reacted to the events that occurred in yesterday’s vote [por el jueves] nor to the request to convene the Congress Table”.
On Saturday the PP maintained the offensive. Gamarra sent the president of the Lower House one more letter “requesting that she order the immediate suspension and stoppage of the procedures aimed at the publication and effectiveness of the vote, held last Thursday, regarding the validation or repeal of the labor counter-reform, before the violations of the legal system of the president, which have caused a conscious alteration and distortion of the will of the Chamber, turning its will to repeal Royal Decree-Law 32/2021 into a non-existent will to validate it; which constitutes an attack against to the essential principles that govern our Social and Democratic State of Law”. The PP deputy Alberto Casero also sent a letter to the president of Congress with the same objective.
Likewise, Gamarra sent the secretary general of the Congress, “so that he make available to the members of the leadership of the Popular Parliamentary Group the minutes of the plenary session held on February 3, 2022, in which the president of the Congress affirmed that “the Table is aware of and has been able to analyze” the case of deputy Alberto Casero’s telematic vote “when it is totally false that the Table convened and met for this purpose.” The PP deputy Alberto Casero also sent a letter to the secretary general of the Congress requesting the minutes of the Plenary.