In Spain, the Constitutional Court accepted the discussion of the opposition right-wing parties’ appeal against the draft law, which envisages changes in the election of the Supreme Council of Judges and Prosecutors and the members of the Constitutional Court, and for the first time in the country’s democracy history suspended a bill without being voted in the parliament.
The decision, which was the first because the Constitutional Court convened in a much shorter time than normal and blocked a bill with 5 to 6 votes and whose voting process in the parliament did not end, caused a crisis among the state institutions in Spain and started the debate on the rule of law and democracy.
The draft law that envisages changes in the election of the members of the Constitutional Court and the Supreme Council of Judges and Prosecutors, which was approved by the minority left coalition government in the country on December 15, was automatically suspended by the decision of the Constitutional Court, which accepted the objection of the right-wing parties by voting to be held in the Senate on December 22. Voting has been suspended.
The court rejected a request by the governing Socialist Workers Party (PSOE) and Unidas Podemos parties to exclude two members of the Constitutional Court (one of them the president of the court) from voting on the grounds that they were not authorized to make this decision because their terms of office had expired.
On the other hand, the Spanish press interpreted the decision taken by the Constitutional Court after the meeting, which lasted more than 10 hours, as a “historical” and “political earthquake” due to the suspension of a bill for the first time in the country’s history.
Reactions to the decision
While the opposition People’s Party (PP), one of the main opposition parties, evaluated the Constitutional Court’s decision as “victory” and “further strengthening of democracy”, the leader of the far-right Vox party, Santiago Abascal, said, “Nothing has been gained yet because Sanchez (Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez) ignores the Constitutional Court’s decision. He has the ability to come.” made a statement.
The government wing, on the other hand, argued that the decision of the Constitutional Court could drag state institutions and democracy into a serious crisis, and accused the opposition right-wing parties of delegitimizing the three powers of the country.
Speaker of the House Meritxell Batet and Speaker of the Senate Ander Gil also criticized the Constitutional Court, arguing that “the country’s democratic system has suffered an irreparable and unprecedented damage in the past”.
“In Spain’s 44-year history of democracy, parliaments have never been deprived of legislative power. The tactical use of the Constitutional Court undermines the function of this institution and undermines its position,” Gil said. while Batet said they “hope to be heard as soon as possible and to present their arguments in court in defense of parliamentary autonomy”.
The bill in question will remain suspended until the Constitutional Court makes its final decision.
In Spain, the members of the High Council of Judges and Prosecutors have not been renewed for 4 years, despite the expiration of their mandate, due to the inability of the country’s two major political parties, the ruling PSOE and the opposition PP, to come to an agreement.