The Government criticizes the PP plan to vote on the amnesty out loud and rules out dissidence: “The PSOE will vote yes”

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By Ketrin Agustine

The Government criticizes the PP plan to vote on the amnesty out loud and rules out dissidence: “The PSOE will vote yes”

The first parliamentary debate on the amnesty for those accused of the Catalan independence process will be held next Tuesday, when the plenary session of Congress will discuss the taking into consideration and urgent processing of the bill registered a month earlier by the PSOE. The PP is going to ask that this vote be done by call – that is, by voice – so that the PSOE deputies have to "show their face." A requirement that they will request in accordance with article 85 of the Congress Regulations. “They will be complicit in these decisions,” Cuca Gamarra, general secretary of the popular party, said on Thursday. The Executive criticizes this request from the popular people but, in any case, rules out dissidence. “I don't know if what [Gamarra] wants to tell us is that some socialist deputy would vote against: I already told him no. The Socialist Group will vote yes, especially because we believe it will be a good law,” the Government spokesperson, Pilar Alegría, said this Friday in an interview on RNE. If there are no surprises, that first vote on the amnesty law will have the support of 178 deputies: all of those who made Pedro Sánchez president of the Government except for the Canary Coalition.

Article 85 of the Congress Regulations allows a vote to be taken by call if one-fifth of the deputies so request. With 137 seats, the PP meets that condition, so on Tuesday, during the Board meeting prior to the debate, the popular party plans to demand that formula. This was anticipated by Gamarra on Thursday and confirmed by sources from the popular leadership. “They will be the first to break their word,” added the general secretary of the PP in reference to the socialist parliamentarians, whom she accuses of “electoral fraud” for having denied before the 23-J elections that they were going to approve the amnesty. . In fact, several of the deputies who will support her on Tuesday have publicly rejected her in recent years.

The Government spokesperson seemed to rule out today that the PP's request would be accepted: "It will be voted on like any law," she said. And he insisted: “It has to be done as usual.” However, the Regulations leave no room for doubt: if a fifth of the deputies request it, the vote must be done by voice. Alegría has praised the fact that there are “a very important number of groups” that want to support the parliamentary initiative. The parties that have shown their favorable position are the PSOE itself, Sumar, Podemos, PNV, EH Bildu, ERC, Junts per Catalunya and BNG.

The Popular Party already tried, for months and without success, after the general elections of 23-J – which Alberto Núñez Feijóo won but without a parliamentary majority to be sworn in -, to appeal to the socialist deputies to stop Sánchez's investiture. And, therefore, prevent amnesty for those prosecuted for the process , a central issue in the PSOE's negotiations with the Catalan independence forces. One of the main objectives of the PP was the president of Castilla-La Mancha, Emiliano García-Page, openly critical of the pardon measure, whom it tried to convince to influence the eight deputies of his autonomous community. A possibility that García-Page rejected outright.

The investiture vote of the President of the Government is carried out compulsorily by call, as also indicated in article 85 of the Congress Regulations. After the plenary session in which Sánchez was inaugurated, several socialist deputies and other territorial PSOE officials suffered singling out and harassment. Some parliamentarians were harassed on social networks with images of the moment in which they were called to vote from their seats.

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During the processing of the reform of the Penal Code that involved the elimination of the crime of sedition and the reduction of embezzlement, in the fall of last year, the PP also requested and achieved that the vote be done by call. The strategy caused a particular scene in Congress: the PSOE deputies all stood up to support the first socialist deputy who had to give her yes out loud to the new law, thus explicitly showing the unity of the parliamentary group. .

On the other hand, Alegría has insisted on the offer of the socialists to the popular ones to create a “working commission” where both parties negotiate three things: the renewal of the expired General Council of the Judiciary (CGPJ), a new model of regional financing and the reform of article 49 of the Constitution to eliminate the term “disabled” which refers to people with different abilities. The offer, which was made on Thursday by the President of the Government in an interview on Antena 3, was rejected shortly afterwards by sources from the popular leadership and by Gamarra herself from Zaragoza.

The Government spokesperson insisted on that path in the interview this Friday, and minutes later the PP once again showed its disdain. “The work commission thing is not serious,” the Popular Party's Deputy Secretary of Health and Education, Esther Muñoz, stated on RNE. “The last [working committees] are being held in Geneva. "If you want a working commission to whitewash what you are doing in Geneva, we are not going to participate in that humiliation," he said ironically, in reference to the meeting held in Switzerland last Saturday by representatives of the PSOE and Junts per Catalunya.

Proposal on the president of the Efe agency

The PP has registered in Congress a non-legal proposal that demands that the president of the public news agency, Efe, "be elected, like that of RTVE, by the plenary session" of the lower house; and that he must meet the requirement that "he has not held positions of political responsibility during the last five years," according to party sources. The initiative comes after it became known on Thursday that the Government will propose Miguel Ángel Oliver, who was Secretary of State for Communication (that is, the person most responsible for the Executive's communication policy) between 2018 and 2021, as the new president of Efe. , during the first term of Pedro Sánchez. This decision has outraged the PP, which accuses Sánchez of trying to “colonize all institutions.” Before being appointed, Oliver must appear before a parliamentary committee in Congress, which will rule if he is suitable for the position; but that report is not binding and the Government has the last word, not the Chamber.

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