The TC annuls the agreements of the Parliamentary Table that allowed Puigdemont and Comín to delegate the vote

The Constitutional Court has upheld the appeal of the Citizens Parliamentary Group of the Parliament of Catalonia against the agreements of the Table of April 3 and 24, 2018 by which the voting delegation of Carles Puigdemont and Toni Comín was admitted and against two others (April 5 and 25) that did not respond to the request for reconsideration made against them.

The TC annuls the agreements of the Parliamentary Table that allowed Puigdemont and Comín to delegate the vote

The Constitutional Court has upheld the appeal of the Citizens Parliamentary Group of the Parliament of Catalonia against the agreements of the Table of April 3 and 24, 2018 by which the voting delegation of Carles Puigdemont and Toni Comín was admitted and against two others (April 5 and 25) that did not respond to the request for reconsideration made against them.

After examining whether the right to vote of representative public positions can be exercised by delegation, the Plenary concludes that the principles that establish the prohibition of the imperative mandate and the personal and non-delegable nature of the vote, by expressing demands that are inherent to the representative function are applicable to all representative public positions, including, therefore, regional parliamentarians.

The application of this doctrine determines that article 95 of the Regulations of the Parliament of Catalonia is only in accordance with the Constitution if it is interpreted that what allows the delegation of votes is that "in the cases provided for in this rule, a deputy can delegate to another who express before the chamber, as a mere spokesman, his vote reliably expressed previously", that is, "that what is delegated is not the decision on the direction of the vote, but only its expression before the organs of parliament". The ruling also establishes that this form of voting, as the decision precedes the debate, could affect the deliberative nature and therefore its practice must be exceptional and the cases in which it is admitted must be interpreted restrictively.

That said, the Court considers that the tenor of the delegation of votes made by Puigdemont and Comín does not conform to the only interpretation in accordance with the Constitution of article 95 of the Regulations of the Parliament of Catalonia, since "through this delegation the aforementioned deputies they conferred to another member of the Chamber the exercise of their right to vote without expressing their meaning, thereby breaking the principle of the personality of the vote, which constitutes an insurmountable limit to any voting delegation». In addition, the delegation granted, by not specifying the debates in which it could be exercised or its duration, was carried out with a markedly generic nature that is incompatible with the exceptional nature that the delegation must have.

For the court, the circumstance in which "who has voluntarily decided to evade the action of the Spanish criminal jurisdiction and who is subject to a search and arrest warrant and imprisonment, is particularly important, as is the case with deputies to the that the Table has allowed to delegate their vote. In this situation, neither the exception to the deliberative principle that the delegation of the vote supposes is proportionate and, obviously, it is not intended to safeguard other constitutional values ​​that are considered worthy of protection.

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