Parliament considers legal action against Spain’s Supreme Court
Catalan parties explore ways to break the stalemate over the investiture and form a new government
The Catalan Parliament is considering legal action against Spain’s Supreme Court. In its meeting on Tuesday, the chamber bureau agreed to ask the parliament lawyers to evaluate whether to take action. According to parliamentary sources, some criminal law experts might be contacted in order to “defend” the institution. The move comes as a reaction to the judge’s decision to deny the candidate nominated for president, Jordi Sànchez, permission to temporarily leave prison so as to take office.
Ciutadans, the unionist party with the most number of seats in the Catalan parliament, registered a proposal to force the head of the bureau, parliament speaker Roger Torrent, to appear in a plenary session and explain the stalemate in the chamber. However, the proposal was not welcomed by the other parties, even fellow unionist group, the Catalan People’s Party. A spokesman dismissed the proposal and called for Torrent to find other ways to break the stalemate over the investiture.
In a letter, the Catalan socialists called on Torrent to reconsider his postponement of the swearing-in session, as his reasons for adjourning the debate no longer exist. On Friday, Torrent said he had decided to postpone the session to swear in Sànchez until the European Court of Human Rights had ruled on the candidate’s situation. However, Sànchez’s lawyers in the end decided to hold off appealing to the European court until they had exhausted all appeals in the Spanish courts.
Catalunya en Comú–Podem wants an alternative candidate
Meanwhile, Catalunya en Comú – Podem called on the pro-independence parties, Junts per Catalunya and Esquerra, to choose another candidate who is “effective” and to do so “quickly.” For the party that is not aligned with either the pro-independence or unionist camps, the priority is to form a government and bring an end to direct rule of Catalonia from Madrid.
Choosing an alternative candidate for president was also an issue for the CUP party. With its four votes needed for the pro-independence bloc to have a majority in the chamber, a CUP spokeswoman said the party was sticking to its intention to abstain in the vote to swear in Sànchez. The spokeswoman also warned that the party would not change its stance towards an alternative candidate if it meant continuing to accept direct rule.