Movement of depth in the General Council of the Judiciary (CGPJ). The progressive sector plans to meet this Friday to assess a possible resignation en bloc in the face of the paralysis that the governing body of judges is experiencing due to its long interim period: it has been pending renewal since December 2018 due to the lack of parliamentary agreement between PSOE and pp.
The announcement made this Wednesday night by the counselor Concepción Sáez, proposed in her day by Izquierda Unida, to leave the Council has opened the door for the rest of the progressive members -eight of the 18 current components of the CGPJ- to join at this pressure measurement. If this mass exit were to be consummated, the quorum necessary for the decisions of the Plenary Council, for example, to be valid, would be jeopardized, since in principle a minimum of eleven votes is required.
For now, the announcement of Sáez’s resignation has not been accepted by the interim president of the institution, Rafael Mozo, also a progressive, who had planned to resolve his petition in plenary session to be held on March 30.
According to sources from the governing body of the judges, there is a small group of progressive members – at least two, according to the sources consulted – willing to follow in the footsteps of Sáez if a joint decision is made, considering that a trickle of resignations would mean leaving the Council in the hands of the conservative bloc, while a bloc exit would leave the institution practically paralyzed and would force the PSOE and PP to sit down again to negotiate the long-awaited renewal of the institution.
However, from the same sector some voices emphasize that it is only about internal contacts to listen to the opinion of all the members of the progressive bloc and there is no definitive decision for now. In any case, this movement now is not accidental, since it occurs after the CGPJ had finalized the appointment of the magistrates who are part of the provincial electoral boards with an eye on the municipal and regional elections on May 28 .
In the same way, the resignation en bloc of the eight progressive members could unleash a new internal battle, since some sources warn that the quorum of eleven is even debatable. And this because the regulations establish that there would be ten members plus the president, but since Mozo is a substitute president, it could be interpreted that with a dozen directors it would be possible to operate.
“Running Out of Patience”
Currently, the CGPJ is made up of 18 members, eight eight progressives and ten conservatives, two less than it should have because during the four years of the Council’s interim period the member Rafael Fernández Valverde retired and Victoria Cinto died, to which is added the resignation of Carlos Lesmes on October 9 to force a renewal political agreement that still has not arrived.
In the case of Sáez, in his letter to Mozo he considers his resignation as “unavoidable” due to the long interim period of the body. He explains that he is taking the step “out of an excessive and perhaps mistaken sense of responsibility”, since he has been “enduring the passing of the months and years not without restlessness or discomfort”, but that “at this moment it is difficult to predict when and How will this long crisis that is causing so much delegitimization of the image of our judicial system be resolved?
Secondly, the vowel points to “the inability to make certain decisions in the ordinary exercise of the powers of this body while calling for the recovery of improper powers of a Council in office”, something that it says has ended by ” exhaust” his “patience”. “I consider my continuity legally and politically useless in this scenario of radical and perhaps already irreversible degradation of the institution,” concludes Sáez.
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