Juan Carlos Merino, Madrid, 21 November 2023
The Minister of the Presidency, Justice and Relations with the Parliament, Félix Bolaños, promises his office before the King EFE/ Chema Moya
THE NEW GOVERNMENT
The super-minister urges the PP to renew the CGPJ on taking over the Justice portfolio: “It is not an option, it is an obligation”.
“Seeking democratic coexistence is a constitutional mandate”, defended Minister Félix Bolaños on assuming the portfolio of Justice this morning, which he adds to that of the Presidency and Relations with the Parliament, in view of a legislature that now begins to run after the investiture of Pedro Sánchez as President of the Government. And in which he will have to manage the processing, approval and subsequent application by the judges of the amnesty law for the accused of the ‘procés’ negotiated with Junts and Esquerra, as well as the dialogue and the fulfilment of the agreements with these pro-independence groups that are essential for the course of the new term of office.
Bolaños pledges his “absolute respect for the law, the Constitution and the rule of law”.
Bolaños has pledged, for these arduous tasks, his “absolute respect for the law, the Constitution and the rule of law”. “Dialogue is essential in a complex society such as ours. Dialogue, talking to everyone and being able to reach agreements”, he said.
“I will dialogue with whomever I need to, for as long as necessary, to build bridges and reach agreements that are beneficial for everyone”.
“Everything I have to do I will do with dialogue, but I will do everything”, he has warned. “I will dialogue with whomever I need to, for as long as necessary, to try to build bridges and reach agreements that are beneficial for everyone”, he assured.
“The legislature will be marked by the search for democratic coexistence in the territories where there has been a more pronounced fracture”.
Bolaños stressed the constitutional mandate of “democratic coexistence”. “I assume the portfolio of Presidency, Justice and Relations with Parliament, in a legislature that will undoubtedly be marked by the search for democratic coexistence in our country”, he said. “Above all in those territories where there has been a more pronounced fracture”, he stressed, in reference to Catalonia. “It is to fulfil a constitutional mandate to seek democratic coexistence, within the law, within the law and within the Constitution, of course”, he defended.
“We have an opportunity to guarantee and strengthen coexistence, cohesion and the ties within our country”.
And, in this legislature, he said that “we have an opportunity to do so, we have an opportunity to guarantee, to strengthen coexistence, cohesion, the ties within our country”. “And we will do so, of course, with respect for the rule of law, the separation of powers, the rule of law and the Constitution”, he insisted. “This is how we do things in the Government, as we have always done for the last five years”, he stressed.
Bolaños acknowledged, however, that in this new legislature “we are sure to have intense debates”. “But we should know that these intense debates are carried out with strong institutions, with a strong social and democratic rule of law, and with a responsible and serious government, which always acts in accordance with the Constitution and the law”, he said, in view of the offensive launched by the right-wing against the amnesty law and the investiture agreements signed with Junts and ERC.
“Our democracy is better because it is capable of integrating different sensibilities and ways of seeing our country”.
“Our democracy is better because it is capable of integrating people who have different sensibilities and different ways of seeing our country and of seeing society,” he argued. “That is why I ask that we have a debate that seeks coexistence in order to achieve a better Spain. I call for a debate where patriotism prevails, and not partisanship. Where moderation prevails, and not exaggeration. And where truth prevails, not falsehoods”, he demanded, in the face of admonitions from the right.
At the ceremony of the transfer of the Justice portfolio from Pilar Llop by other members of the new Council of Ministers, such as José Manuel Albares, Fernando Grande-Marlaska, Luis Planas and Óscar Puente, Bolaños called for the urgent renewal of the General Council of the Judiciary (CGPJ), whose mandate has expired after five years due to the blockage that the Government accuses the Popular Party of, previously with Pablo Casado and now with Alberto Núñez Feijóo.
“It is necessary to return the General Council of the Judiciary to normality”.
“It is necessary to return normality to the General Council of the Judiciary”, he has demanded. “It is absolutely essential”, he stressed. Renewing the governing body of judges, he warned, “is not an option, it is an obligation, which derives from the mandate of the promise of the Constitution that we public servants make, both in the Congress of Deputies and today we have been able to make the new ministers in Zarzuela”, he said, after his inauguration this morning before Felipe VI. “This constitutional mandate to renew the Council means that we all have an obligation, which is necessary for our institutions and for the proper functioning of the judiciary, one of the three branches of government,” he said, in a veiled allusion to the PP. “There is no possible equidistance between complying with the Constitution and not complying with it, there is no such thing as equidistance”, he insisted.
The now brand-new Minister of Justice assured that “five years later, we have to renew the Council, and we have to do so out of respect for the Constitution and the law, but above all out of respect for the citizens, the judiciary and the international reputation of our country”. And to “recover the prestige of the judges’ governing body”, he said. Although he has not clarified how he intends to do this, without the concurrence of the PP.
Bolaños (Madrid, 1975) thanked President Pedro Sánchez for his confidence in making him, now, a super-minister, by taking on the joint portfolios of Presidency, Justice and Relations with the Parliament, an “unprecedented” department in the general administration of the State, as he acknowledged, but very common in regional governments.”I will try to be up to the task”, he promised.