The Government launches its ‘plan b’ to change the TC in January with a bill

Moncloa does not even take seriously the words of Alberto Núñez Feijóo on an alleged offer of dialogue to agree on the renewal of the General Council of the Judiciary. The Government’s strategy now only involves approving in the coming weeks the bill to renew the Constitutional Court in January, as soon as possible.

In addition, once the crisis broke out on Monday due to the court’s decision to halt the processing of the reform, Moncloa gave instructions yesterday to deflate the tone and seek the fastest possible exit, fulfilling the requirements demanded by the court with a new bill.

Government sources admit that it was a mistake to process the reform of the TC as amendments to the changes to the Penal Code. In public there is no such self-criticism, but in private some ministers admit the mistake of having caused the PP to appeal and the TC to agree with it.

[El PSOE presentará esta semana como proposición de ley la reforma que ha tumbado el TC]

That way of legislating has been repeated in recent yearsfor example, avoiding reports for complex legal reforms.

The leader of the PP also tried yesterday to convey a message of a proposed agreement and a request to moderate the language.

Of course, the renewal of the CGPJ is considered lost for the remainder of the legislature. As minimum, there will be no new CGPJ until 2024after the general elections, which means that he will be in a precarious situation for more than five years, a full term.

The only objective of the Government is to change the majority of the Constitution, so that it changes from conservative to progressive, including the election of Candid Count Pumpido as president during the month of January.

The conditions of the PP

Government sources explain that the PP leader’s proposal includes a series of conditions that are unaffordable for the Executive and, in addition, they are different from those that during the last four years they have put in order not to agree on the renewal.

Those conditions include the change in the system for choosing members of the CGPJ, which means going back a few screens, since the PP had already renounced that requirement in the last attempts at negotiation. The same occurs with the request that he renounce reforming regulations such as the Penal Code to reduce the crimes of sedition and embezzlement.

According to the Government, that would be give in to the opposition, to the minority in the Chamber, the ability to condition legislative activity. Feijóo has already won the suspension of the process of the reform amendments of the CGPJ and the Executive will not know any more triumph.

Obviously, the PP will maintain its opposition to the final approval this Thursday in the Senate of the reform of the Criminal Code to reduce the crimes of sedition and embezzlement. And it will be waiting to see its effect in open cases or already firm sentences.

He will also maintain his opposition to the reform of the organic law of the CGPJ to facilitate the renewal of the Constitutional. In fact, it has already announced that it will take it to court, but that decision will already take place with a progressive majority, according to Moncloa’s calculation.

This legal reform makes it easier for the CGPJ to propose two magistrates, who together with the two already proposed by the Government, renew the four with an “expired” mandate.

It is lowered from a qualified majority to a simple majority, a new voting system is established that does not require agreements, the placet of the TC is eliminated for the proposed magistrates and renewal by parts is allowed. Council members are also warned of possible liability if they do not address the appointments.

In the midst of the institutional crisis, Pedro Sánchez was delighted to see them definitively approved in the Senate the Budgets for 2023the third parties of the legislature.

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