The Government has undertaken the umpteenth attack against the PP for its refusal to unblock the General Council of the Judiciary, which has been in office for almost four years. The new chapter of an endless soap opera began this Tuesday with the publication of the agreement that the PSOE and the conservatives signed in October 2021 to reform the governing body of the judges and that the current leadership says it was unaware of. Pedro Sánchez took advantage of an act in La Palma yesterday to reproach the PP for its persistent blockade of the institution and today the President has been imitated by the Minister of the Presidency, Félix Bolaños, and the Defense Minister, Margarita Robles.
The PP joins the Judiciary in a definitive blockade after the reform to renew the Constitutional
“What the PP has to do in the first place is to comply with the Constitution, comply with the law and comply with what it signs,” Bolaños launched today in statements to EFE from Almería. The head of the Presidency reached a written agreement in October last year with the then general secretary of the popular party, Teodoro García Egea, to reform the law of the Judicial Power so that the body could appoint two magistrates of the Constitutional Court despite being in office, according to the text revealed yesterday by El País.
That commitment was reflected in a paper after both formations reached agreements to renew the rest of the constitutional bodies that until then the PP also blocked and, according to information from the Prisa newspaper, in the midst of an almost closed negotiation to renew the governing body of the judges. Both the text and those conversations came to nothing with the replacement at the top of the conservative formation and the arrival of Alberto Núñez Feijóo, whose leadership wanted to start the negotiations from scratch.
“With what we have learned these days, we already know that Feijóo is not to be trusted. He was caught lying in an interview. It does not comply with the Constitution, it does not comply with the law and it does not comply with what its party signs”, Bolaños lamented this Wednesday, who considers that the popular have entered “a carousel of cheap excuses and lies, of lies about lies to cover the falsehood that Mr. Feijóo said in his interview”, in reference to the one also published by El País this Sunday, in which the opposition leader said he was unaware that his party had reached an agreement with the PSOE in the past.
Today, the ‘number three’ of the PP, Elías Bendodo, has spoken in the same line as Feijóo: his party was unaware of the agreement. “I did not know or recognize that document,” he said in statements to the press from Malaga, where he stated that his party has a hand outstretched to the PSOE to negotiate. The problem, he has said, is that the President of the Government “is a prisoner of his partners”, who do not allow him to “sit down and agree with the popular ones”. “That’s the problem. We want to sit down, we have tried and some meeting has taken place, but as soon as we were going to reach an agreement and the PP was going to present its proposals, the Government changes the rules of the game”, he said.
On Tuesday, the Deputy Secretary for Regional and Local Coordination of the PP, Pedro Rollán, was forced to give truth to the agreement published by El País, but accused the Government of having leaked a document that, he said, he did not show in his day in the conversations that the new leadership of the party established with the PSOE from April. “Everyone will remember that no member of the Government or the president made reference to a previously signed document. He understood the position of the new leadership of the PP and did not value that document, ”he said.
Moments before, Pedro Sánchez had asked the main opposition party to “comply with what was signed” and recalled that the PP has been “1,351 days” blocking said renewal. “There is no precedent in Europe for a blockade like the one that is being submitted to the judges,” he emphasized, to make a “call for responsibility and constitutional loyalty” to the PP so that it sits down at the table again and signs the agreement reached nine months ago. Today, Bolaños has complained that the PP talks about a “secret” agreement, when “it was going to end in a joint proposal of the PSOE and the PP in Congress.” “There is nothing less secret”, he has insisted.
The bill to reform the powers of the judiciary in office was finally presented in Congress by the PSOE, albeit unilaterally after the failure of negotiations with its political rival. The Senate approved at the end of July that small counter-reform to the law to return to the governing body of the judges the powers to make appointments, albeit in a limited way, to the Constitutional. That week, Moncloa admitted that the legal change was one of the agreements that he had reached with the PP in the October negotiation, something that confirms the agreement revealed on Tuesday.
“The essential thing is that the Council be renewed (…) I ask Mr. Feijóo to comply with the Constitution, to comply with the law and not to lie, to be trustworthy, that when he signs an agreement, to comply. I think that is not too much to ask for”, Bolaños reiterated. Hours later, the Minister of Defense has added to the pressure against the PP and has asked him to “immediately proceed to put everything necessary for the renewal”.
In statements to the media in Seville, Robles recalled that the renewal of the members of the CGPJ -whose 20 members are elected by Congress and the Senate- has been “pending three and a half years”, specifically since December 2018, coinciding with the beginning of the current legislature, when its renewal supposes a whole “constitutional mandate”. “From any point of view, it is unacceptable that the CGPJ has not been renewed for three and a half years,” he emphasized, adding that “the PP must stop putting vetoes and obstacles and taking the Judiciary hostage.”