Amnesty law fails Congress vote after Junts vote against

Catalan pro-independence party wants law to include those involved in Tsunami Democràtic and 'Operation Volhov' 

The Spanish Congress
The Spanish Congress / Congrés dels Diputats
Catalan News

Catalan News | @catalannews | Barcelona

January 30, 2024 11:39 AM

January 30, 2024 07:13 PM

The amnesty bill hit an unexpected setback in Congress on Tuesday as pro-independence Junts voted against it.

The bill will now return to the Congress justice commission to be debated again by the parties.

Spain's ruling Socialists voted against the amendments proposed by Junts, which the Catalan party said were to ensure that those accused in the protests of Tsunami Democràtic and the Committees for the Defense of the Republic (CDR), and in the Volhov case, are protected by the law.

The Socialists and both Junts and fellow Catalan pro-independence party Esquerra Republicana (ERC) introduced several amendments to the text of the draft law in recent weeks to protect it from being declared unconstitutional by the judges.

However, Junts declared themselves not satisfied with these changes and want the law to remove any reference to terrorism as an exception to its application, as this could result in party founder, and former Catalan president, Carles Puigdemont, not benefiting from the law.

The Socialists refused to make any further amendments because they believe that removing terrorism from the exclusions of the amnesty law would cause the amnesty to get stuck in Spain's Constitutional Court


"Junts cannot leave the whole Catalan pro-independence movement exposed and at the mercy of Spain's politicized judges," said Míriam Nogueras, the party's spokesperson in Congress.

Catalan president, Pere Aragonès, on an official visit to Brussels, said it was "essential" to approve the amnesty law and defended that the text was "robust and solid".

ERC MP Teresa Jordà confirmed early on Tuesday that her party would vote in favor of the amnesty bill even if their amendments were not approved.

What now?

With Junts voting "no," the law will now return to Congress' Justice Committee. Negotiations can again take place based on the original text, with the law possibly returning to Congress in weeks.

If Junts and the Socialists eventually reach another agreement and the bill is approved, it will then go to the Senate, where the conservative People's Party has a majority and will try to delay it.

The bill will then return to the Spanish Congress, where it is likely to be approved definitively. After the parliamentary process, however, the bill could still face challenges from judges who may deem it unconstitutional