The Bureau of the Spanish Parliament Vetoes Debate of an Amnesty Law Bill

On Tuesday, the Bureau of the Spanish Parliament rejected a motion to debate an amnesty law for the Catalan pro-independence political prisoners, exiles, and those facing legal action. The bill, promoted by the pro-independence parties ERC, Junts, CUP, and PdeCAT, already received a blow in March, when the pseudo-socialist party PSOE closed ranks with the right-wing and far-right PP and Vox parties to block its admission.

The argument used to refuse the petition was a report from politicized lawyers of the Congress who recommended not accepting it because “the granting of a general pardon” to pro-independence prisoners would be in “obvious” contradiction with Article 62 i) of the Spanish constitution, which states that “general pardons” cannot be granted.

The unadmitted bill calls for amnesty for “all acts of political intent” linked to “the democratic struggle for the self-determination of Catalonia” that have been classified as “crimes.” The bill would pardon actions carried out from January 1st, 2013 until the entry into force of this law.

The Catalan cultural organization, Òmnium, announced that it will attempt to bring the law back to Congress by transforming the bill into a popular legislative initiative, a citizen’s right that is included in article 87.3 of the Spanish constitution and regulates organic law 3/1984. The presentation of the initiative requires a minimum of 500,000 signatures.

CUP spokesperson Mireia Vehí said that the pro-independence movement should serve “to respond to the problems of the people” and not “to give more air to constitutionalism.”

ERC spokesperson Rufián said that the decision of the Bureau “sets a very dangerous precedent in democracy” and lamented that PSOE “once again aligned” with PP and Vox “against dialogue and a political solution to the conflict with Catalonia. They know they’re playing it safe,” he said about the pseudo-socialists.

The acting spokesperson, Meritxell Budó, used irony to criticize the decision of the bureau. “PSOE never fails,” she said, calling for a “change of attitude” to show that they have the will to “resolve the political conflict” between Catalonia and the state.

Jordi Cuixart, president of Omnium, an entity that had promoted the amnesty law, received the news without surprise, as he assured on Twitter, the Congress “remains blind to a majority claim in Catalonia.”

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