The Popular Parliamentary Group has presented a document to Congress in which it demands the ” immediate reopening ” of the Parliament, with the aim of recovering the weekly control sessions to the Government, which should be able to resume as of next week.
It is a document that the PP spokeswoman, Cayetana Álvarez de Toledo, will defend at the Board of Spokespersons that takes place this Tuesday afternoon.
The PP’s letter claims to lift the suspension of the calculation of deadlines for processing initiatives that the Congress Table agreed on March 19. This suspension means that no ordinary sessions are held, except to validate the royal decrees of the Government; that no commissions are held, except for the health commission, and that no proposals, parliamentary initiatives, questions, etc are processed.
The popular regrets that this situation de facto nullifies the control capacity that the opposition has over the Government and, in its opinion, the GPP, goes against article 116.5 of the Constitution. That article explicitly indicates that, during periods of alarm, state of siege or exception, Congress may not be dissolved, and that “its operation, as well as that of the other institutional powers of the State, may not be interrupted during the term of these state”.
The popular parliamentary group believes that the sanitary conditions that must be met are a matter to be taken seriously, ” but it is also operating as an excuse to keep Parliament closed .” Thus, they consider that the decision of the Bureau to keep a good part of the parliamentary functions inactive would be violating the rights of political representation of the deputies, so that if this claim is not attended, the popular will resort to the Constitutional Court.
For the return to the usual parliamentarians under the existing social distancing measures, the PP proposes the attendance to the next plenary session of the greatest number of deputies possible, respecting the health recommendations, so that there should be a distance seat between deputies and it would reduce by half the representation of the groups in the chamber. In the case of the popular group, they plan to attend the next plenary session as many deputies as possible from the health point of view, keeping a seat among them, up to 45 deputies.
Along with the requirement to resume parliamentary functions, the PP requests the appearance of the Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchez, in a plenary session of Congress to account for the last five European Councils, “a legal obligation that has been breached,” they point out.
This Tuesday, in statements to RNE, the PP’s general secretary, Teodoro Garcia Egea, has said that he does not understand how “the Government takes all power without any control”, and has reproached that until now, “not even journalists could control to the Government ”at press conferences. “It will remain for history the press conference of the Minister of Labor comparing the ERTEs with maternity leave, or the promises of rapid tests,” he cited as examples of the need to question the Government in Congress, along with the “Confusion” that now detected regarding the use of masks.
Egea considers it necessary for the Lower House to adopt measures such as raising the salary of those who are in the first row or eliminating the payment of the fee to the self-employed who “cannot lift the blind”, but has ruled out new La Moncloa Pacts. The leader believes that other types of pacts should be reached, although he also sees it difficult because Sánchez calls them “every 10 or 12 days”, which means they cannot pass on his proposals. Despite everything, the popular believes that “the Government finds more loyalty in the PP than in its partners and more unanimity in Spanish society than in the Council of Ministers.”
For their part, the PSOE has already answered the accusation of closing the Congress on social networks. From the official account of the party, it is assured that the Lower House “is not closed in the state of alarm” and that “the right and the far-right lie again” because “the president has appeared three times”, so have “two ministers and a vice president, and the Minister of Health appears weekly.