The vocals decide to meet again on October 13 if they continue without progress next week
The president of the General Council of the Judiciary (CGPJ), Carlos Lesmes, has reiterated to the members his intention to resign if there is no progress in the renewal of the governing body of the judges, within the framework of a new Plenary that has ended without agreement on the two candidates that the CGPJ must propose for magistrates of the Constitutional Court (TC).
It is the second time that the members meet in plenary to formally address these appointments without reaching an agreement on the matter, although this September 29 they have agreed that the interlocutors of the two currents of the Council, conservative and progressive, see each other again October 5, as reported by the CGPJ in a statement.
If next Wednesday there is a consensus on the two applicants, they have established that the next day an extraordinary plenary session will be held to formalize the proposal to the TC. Otherwise, they have agreed to hold another extraordinary session on October 13 "so that the members of the negotiating commission give an account of the steps taken."
This Thursday, the members have dealt with another important matter, taking into account the report prepared by the Technical Office of the Supreme Court (TS), which establishes how the succession of Lesmes should take place, if he finally resigns to force the renewal of the Council, which has Almost four years expired.
The sources of the governing body of the judges consulted by Europa Press have indicated that Lesmes has reiterated to the members his desire to resign by next week if no gesture is made beforehand, which remains to interpret an advance in the renewal of the CGPJ.
The same sources emphasize that some members have asked him not to leave office, for the sake of the governability of the Judiciary, also highlighting that there is a schedule to comply with for the two candidates for the TC that reaches at least until October 13.
The Technical Cabinet of the TS clarified that, in the event that he leaves, Lesmes must be replaced as head of the Council and of the high court by the vice president of the Supreme Court, a position that is temporarily held by the president of the oldest chamber, Judge Francisco Marín.
Lesmes verbalized his intention to resign "in weeks" during the opening of the judicial year, on September 7. In statements to the press, he revealed that, if there was no agreement to renew the CGPJ, he would resign from the position as a measure of pressure, but not without at least leaving the appointments to the TC on track.
The members already met in plenary session on September 8 with the express mandate of Lesmes to carry out these appointments, something that could not be, since the progressive and conservative sectors were then limited to agreeing on the "rules of the game": that the two applicants must be chosen from among magistrates of the Supreme Court and that they would not bring this matter back to plenary session until there were two clear candidates.
Since then, the interlocutors of both currents --José Antonio Ballestero and Carmen Llombart, from the conservative side; and Álvaro Cuesta, Rafael Mozo and Roser Bach, from the progressive party-- have maintained informal contacts to try to reach a consensus on these two initial candidates, who could be joined by others once the Plenary is convened.
Last week, they ratified their willingness to comply with their constitutional obligation to nominate two magistrates for the TC, but that is where the coincidences end. The progressives came with nine names, although the conservatives did not present candidates, assuring that no member of the Supreme Court had been offered to them for the court of guarantees.
Another point of controversy was precisely the 'tempo'. The progressives advocated agreeing "in the shortest time possible and always before the plenary session called for September 29", but the conservatives told them that they did not consider that the appointment should be made today, arguing that "the relevance of these appointments requires that governs the principle of efficiency and not that of urgency".
Sources from the governing body of the judges had already indicated to Europa Press that in these days there had hardly been any movement, so that, although the proposal of two candidates for the TC appeared on the agenda of this Thursday's plenary session, it was unlikely that there would be white smoke.
THE REYNDERS VISIT
In fact, the conservative members met on Wednesday afternoon to ratify their position of not advancing in the negotiations with their progressive colleagues until they can evaluate the results of the round of contacts that the EU Justice Commissioner, Didier Reynders, will lead carried out during his stay in Spain, which will conclude on Friday.
Hopes are pinned on Reynders because before landing in Madrid he advanced that he came with the intention of getting involved in the solution to the crisis in the Judiciary, which has its roots in the inability of the PP and PSOE to agree on the renewal of the CGPJ, pending since on December 4, 2018.
However, this Thursday the European Commissioner has clarified that the responsibility for unblocking the situation lies mainly with the Spanish political forces, emphasizing that their objective is to facilitate the renewal of the Council so that later its election system is reformed in accordance with community standards. , which require that at least half of its members be chosen by the judges themselves.
Despite the optimism that some sources recognize in the CGPJ for the impact that Reynders could have -achieving in the best of scenarios a global agreement that resolves the concatenated blockages in the Council and the Constitutional--, at the same time they lower the chances of success appreciating a certain reluctance in the words of the Minister of the Presidency, Félix Bolaños, who has warned that the renewal depends on the PP.
OUT OF TIME
It should be remembered that the aforementioned appointment will be made after the deadline, given that the second reform operated by the Government on the Organic Law of the Judiciary (LOPJ), which returned to the Council its power to make appointments in the high courts but only for the TC, imposed a deadline of September 13.
The underlying problem is that on June 12, the mandate of González-Trevijano, the vice president of the TC, Juan Antonio Xiol, and Antonio Narváez and Santiago Martínez-Vares, the four magistrates who make up the third that the Constitution commissions to renew Government and CGPJ, with two each.
Initially, the Government slipped the possibility of making their appointments without waiting for the CGPJ, although the legal sources asked by Europa Press cast doubts on the legal possibility that the two Executive candidates can take office without the Council duo.
The Minister of Justice, Pilar Llop, has assured that Moncloa will wait for the CGPJ to have its two candidates to undertake the partial renewal of the TC, although she refused to specify how long she is willing to wait.