A police officer turned lawyer: the man behind the appeal against the postponement of the elections
Catalan High Court has granted the request on a provisional basis
BarcelonaJosep Asensio, a lawyer who was a member of the Catalan police force, the Mossos d'Esquadra, for over 20 years, is the person who has sought precautionary measures to lift the suspension of the elections. "I have done this because the [suspension] decree is not legal and because citizens have the right to vote due to the current legal vacuum" that makes it harder to tackle the pandemic, he pointed out to RAC1's El món."It is not legal because the Generalitat does not have the power to suspend them", Asensio stressed, who repeated that "the administrative act is not legal". The lawyer has also made it clear that he does it on an individual basis and that "there is no party behind it" in the appeal he filed yesterday.
The Catalan Government claims the current health emergency requires the postponement of the elections. Asensio is not convinced and claims it is "incongruous" to suspend the elections and not apply more restrictive measures to address the pandemic, and has given as an example that "the subway is open with everyone piled on the wagons". "There is no medical arguments to justify that the elections cannot be held and the decree does not `provide them either," insisted the lawyer, who added that he has been police officer and that he is not "afraid" of reprisals or consequences that he might suffer because of his appeal.
Beyond the precautionary measures requested by Asensio, the Lliga Democràtica, which was not running in the elections after the failure of its negotiations with the Catalan Socialist Party (PSC), also challenged the decree of the Generalitat yesterday, as did Federalistes d'Esquerres, which is close to the socialists. Other political parties such as Izquierda en Positivo, which holds no seats, defines itself as "non-nationalist left" and was running in the February elections, announced today that it has taken legal action against the decision of the Generalitat with a new appeal. Unionist association Impulso Ciudadano will present an appeal today.
In the midst of all these appeals, the Central Electoral Board has informed that it plans to issue a note today from its president, Miguel Colmenero, stating that it is not competent to rule on the postponement of the elections agreed by the Government and the Catalan parties. The reason, according to Board sources, is that it supervises and arbitrates the decisions and acts that have to do with electoral processes, but not the calling of the election itself. According to the Board, any response to the decree approved by the Generalitat on the cancellation of the February 14 elections must come from the ordinary courts, in this case the TSJC.