Patxi López hides the fact that the three-fifths majority that the CGPJ must have will be changed and attacks the “anti-system PP”

Ignacio Escolar’s independent newspaper,, which celebrated its anniversary with Pedro Sánchez and Yolanda Díaz, published this Thursday that PSOE and Unidas Podemos will present two amendments to the reform of the Penal Code and that one of them will modify the Organic Law 6/1985 of the Judiciary to change the three-fifths majority that the General Council of the Judiciary (CGPJ) must reach in the election of the two magistrates to the Constitutional Court that correspond to it. From now on, according to the left-wing website, “a simple majority will suffice”.

This Friday, the PSOE’s parliamentary spokesman, Patxi López, concealed this abuse while presenting his party’s amendment to modify the Penal Code, and justified it by referring to the “intolerable blockade by some members of the CGPJ, who refuse to fulfil their obligations”, and to the “anti-system Partido Popular”, “a PP that has no democratic culture or sense of State”.

The Socialist began his speech by indicating that “we are introducing for the first time in the Penal Code the crime of illicit enrichment” and that “those public officials who have an increase in assets or who have had their debts cancelled in excess of 200,000 euros of their usual income (…) will be obliged to justify this increase in assets”.

He then went on to address the assault on the judiciary, citing the Constitution, which “establishes not only the formula, but also the imperative mandate to renew the mandated bodies of the judges and the Constitutional Court”. López lamented that “there is no precedent for a situation as serious as the one we are currently experiencing, with justice being hijacked” and pointed to the one who, in his opinion, is the main culprit: “We have a Partido Popular that is outside any democratic reality”. He criticised Feijóo for failing to comply with the Constitution because he does not “like the government that the citizens have democratically elected” and added: “This is unacceptable in a democracy. That is why, faced with an anti-system PP, with a PP that has no democratic culture or sense of State, with these amendments we want to guarantee constitutional compliance by law”.

Responsibilities “of a criminal nature”

Immediately, López criticised the “intolerable blockade by some members of the CGPJ who refuse to comply with their obligations to appoint two members of the Constitutional Court”, and laid out the punishment: “We establish the obligation to initiate an appointment procedure and a mandate with absolutely clear deadlines to conclude it. Within five days of the law coming into force, the CGPJ has to open the period for candidates and nominees for the TC“. This is “imperative” and, “if it is not complied with, they will have to assume responsibilities, even of a criminal nature“.

The Socialist spokesman went on to explain that “the prior verification procedure is abolished, as it was abolished in 1985 for the Supreme Court”, as “it makes no sense for members of this body to block mandates that correspond to the Government”. Thus, they intend to “guarantee compliance with the Spanish Constitution by establishing formulas for unblocking that prevent the hijacking of institutions that belong to everyone and that cannot be at the service of any particular interest”.

“The judges apply what the legislature decides”

Asked whether, in the face of such a huge trick, the government fears sanctions from the EU, López replied that “the legislative power legislates, which is what we are doing”, and that “the judges apply what the legislature decides”. Thus, “some, within that other power which is the judiciary, will end up doing so”. “It seems to me that Europe will have nothing to say about this other than to applaud it, in any case”, he added.

As for the reform of the crime of embezzlement, the PSOE spokesman said that they will “carefully analyse all the amendments of the rest of the groups”, but that there are two “red lines”: they will not accept any amendment “that would benefit those convicted of corruption” because “any irregular, arbitrary use of public funds must be punished”, nor will they support the decriminalisation of “any misuse of public funds”.

López concluded by saying that “opening up the Penal Code is not easy, it is not done every day” and, for the umpteenth time, he resorted to a common refrain in the Socialist ranks: “Once we have done it, we took advantage of it to make reforms that had to do with European guidelines”.

What the amendment says

As we can read in the Social Democrat amendment, “the proposal for the appointment, by a three-fifths majority”, of the two judges of the Constitutional Court whose appointment corresponds to the CGPJ “must be made within a maximum period of three months from the day following the expiry of the previous term of office”. If the proposal is not made within the established period, “whoever holds the presidency of the Council, whether incumbent, interim or acting, shall adopt, on the day following the expiry of the three-month period”, a resolution to initiate the appointment procedure in accordance with the following:

  1. Within five working days of the adoption of the aforementioned resolution, the members of the Council may propose to the aforementioned presidency candidates for judge of the Constitutional Court. Each member may propose a maximum of one candidate. Once the period for the presentation of candidatures has closed, the person holding the office of President shall be obliged, within three working days, to convene an extraordinary plenary session to elect the two judges of the Constitutional Court. This plenary session shall be held within a maximum period of three working days from the date of its convocation.
  2. Once the plenary session has been constituted, the nominations submitted shall be put to the vote of the members present, without the need for a minimum quorum and in a single ballot. Voting shall not be by secret ballot, in accordance with the provisions of Article 630 of this Organic Law. Each member may vote for only one candidate, and the two judges who have obtained the highest number of votes shall be elected. In the event of a tie between several candidates, it shall be the person holding the presidency, whether incumbent, interim or acting, who, in the same plenary session, shall resolve the tie, in order to appoint two judges to the Constitutional Court and comply with the obligation set out in Article 159.1 of the Constitution.
  3. In view of the imperative nature of this procedure, if through the action or omission of the person holding the presidency, whether incumbent, interim or acting, or of any of the members, the provisions of the previous paragraphs are not complied with, either culpably or fraudulently, the responsibilities of any kind arising from the legal system, including criminal ones, will be incurred”.

In addition, a new provision is added whereby “if at the time of the entry into force of this Organic Law the period of three months and one day has already elapsed”, the president shall initiate “the procedure provided for in said precept within five working days following the entry into force of this Organic Law”.

On This Day

1108 Reconquista: The Christian troops of Alfonso VI are defeated in the Battle of Uclés (Cuenca) by the Almoravids of Granada, Valencia and Murcia, led by Yusuf ibn Tasufin.
1860 Pianist and composer Isaac Albéniz (d. 1909) is born in Campodrón (Gerona).

History of Spain

Communism: Now and Then