The conservative majority of the General Council of the Judiciary (CGPJ) in office still does not specify which are its candidates to opt for the Constitutional Court. It is the main conclusion of the meeting that the interlocutors of the conservative and progressive sectors have held this Wednesday, who have to agree on which two magistrates they designate for the court of guarantees. This second meeting has taken place a week after the end of the legal term to make these appointments, set for September 13. Despite this, the parties have not agreed on when this negotiating committee will meet again.
An arsenal of excuses from conservative members confirms the blockade of the renewal of the Constitutional
In a statement, the members José Antonio Ballestero and Carmen Llombart, representatives of the conservative sector, affirm that the relevance of these appointments “demands that the principle of efficiency and not that of urgency govern.” During the meeting, they informed their interlocutors that as of today they are still unable to present candidates. They claim not to have received “no official or informal candidacy, beyond a mere brief, informal and initial contact maintained by a single person with a member on an individual basis.”
In another note, the representatives of the progressive sector affirm that they have reiterated their desire to reach an agreement “in the shortest time possible” and, given the stagnation of the negotiations, they reiterate that they are not “responsible” for the “delay” that has taken place. is producing. To try to speed up the process, this group put on the table last Friday the names of nine magistrates who have transferred their desire to opt for the Constitutional Court. Among them was Rafael Fernández Valverde, a retired magistrate who until last March was a member of the CGPJ at the proposal of the PP. And this week that of Inés Huerta, also considered a conservative, has been added.
At Wednesday’s meeting, the progressives intended to wrest from the other sector the commitment of a “time horizon” to make these appointments. His will was to close an agreement before the ordinary plenary session on the 29th and that the appointments could be made that day. But it has not been possible. The members elected at the proposal of the PP have rejected that proposal. In fact, their group won’t meet again until the 28th to see which candidates they can count on. And only when there is an internal agreement will they transfer it to the progressives. This scenario suggests that the next meeting between the representatives of both sectors will not take place until the end of the month.
With the negotiation stalled, it is difficult to foresee a prompt appointment of the two Constitutional magistrates who correspond to designate the governing body of the judges. As the Executive will not appoint the other two of its own until the CGPJ does so, the consequence is that the court of guarantees will continue to function indefinitely and without the possibility of changing the current conservative majority for a progressive one. In addition to the four magistrates of the Constitutional Court whose mandate has expired since before the summer, the position of the magistrate who resigned due to illness, Alfredo Montoya, remains to be replaced. This seat corresponds to the Senate and requires a pact between PSOE and PP.
Last Friday, the interlocutors of both sectors held a first meeting that resulted in a minimum agreement. Namely: that the appointments be made “by a large majority”, after evaluating the candidates’ curricula and that they come from the Supreme Court, something that is not strictly a novelty. It is an unwritten rule that those chosen for the Constitutional by the CGPJ are judges of the highest category within the race. That is, from the Supreme.