Editorial ABC: What is Batet waiting for?


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Six days after the strange vote that validated the Government’s labor reform last Thursday by a single and erratic affirmative vote of the PP deputy Alberto Casero, the president of Congress, Meritxell Batet, still does not give a single plausible and credible explanation of all the dark points that surround this episode, beyond the mistake made by the parliamentarian. To begin with, it is now official that Congress authorized Casero’s telematic vote, linking it to a regulation that does require telephone verification of the direction of the vote. But it was not done. In fact, the PP deputy had received a letter from the Deputy General Secretary of the Chamber indicating that his vote was covered by the 2012 rule, which is precisely the one that regulates that the vote must be reaffirmed by telephone to avoid possible technical errors or misleading interpretations.

However, five days later Batet is still adamant that this regulation was no longer in force and that is why no telephone check was made because that regulation is superseded by another from 2020, which is not entirely true. Furthermore, any deputy can vote in person even if they have previously done so electronically, as long as they request it from the Table and it is authorized by it. It happens, however, that not a single lawyer bothered to locate Casero to reaffirm the meaning of his vote, and that Batet also did not tell the truth when he stated that he had consulted the Board about the possibility of the deputy modifying his initial vote.

Unfortunately, this episode is not only about the legitimate and different legal interpretation that can be made of different regulations of Congress, or of the jurisprudence of the Chamber. It is not even about the clumsy vote of a deputy before one of the most important votes of his parliamentary life. Nor is it about the ways in which the approval of the labor reform went ahead. It goes, again, of the obstacles that Batet wields again through opacity and lies to avoid clarifying the facts. And above all, it is about determining whether the vote should have been repeated, and in reality it was not done because the PSOE and Podemos know that they would have failed in their false “repeal” of the 2012 PP labor reform.

In addition, Batet still does not answer two essential questions. First, why did he consider the reform rejected and shortly after approved, as if his mistake was forgivable and Casero’s was not. And second, why did he say that he consulted the Table on whether Casero could amend the telematic vote issued hours before in person if it was not objectively so. Some lies have already been expensive for Batet, such as when he faced the Supreme Court with the ultimate goal of keeping the seat of Podemos deputy Alberto Rodríguez. But it is that it has not even advanced if this Tuesday it would meet the Table to address the matter, with which it incurs a suspicious delay. Here there are no independent audits of anything, but an appropriation of Congress by La Moncloa as if it were a branch of the executive power instead of an independent power of the State. And everything, based on the fact that nobody knows whether or not the regulations of the exceptional voting procedure that was applied due to the pandemic and the physical closure of Congress were really repealed. One thing is clear: the obligation for lawyers to verify by telephone the meaning of a remote vote to ratify its correctness and legitimacy is still in force. And that was not done. Therefore, the logical thing is that a Court prevents Moncloa once and for all from turning Congress into its little farmhouse of votes on a whim, whether or not there are human errors in each vote.

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