Misc 22/01/2021

High Court maintains 14-F elections due to "intense public interest" in not prolonging Government provisionality

It is open to postponing them if restrictions or state of alarm change due to pandemic progress

Núria Orriols / Aleix Moldes
2 min
Una nena dipositant el vot del seu pare en les eleccions al Parlament / CÈLIA ATSET

BarcelonaAt the moment it is a precautionary measure, but the arguments of the High Court of Justice of Catalonia (TSJC) to maintain the elections on 14-F can already be seen clearly in the order made public this Friday, in which it explains why it has rejected the allegations of the Generalitat. There are basically three main reasons, one of which is directly related to the situation of political temporariness: "It has been assessed that there is a very intense public interest in the celebration of the suspended elections, because if they are not held, a prolonged period of temporariness is opened up that affects the normal functioning of the democratic institutions". The judicial resolution was not adopted unanimously and was voted on by the private vote of Judge José Manuel de Soler Bigas.

The other two key reasons concern health and legality. "The current health measures do not limit travel for non-essential activities, as well as the effective implementation of preventive measures by the administrations with competence in health and electoral matters". That is, there are doubts that the current municipal lockdown and the multiple exceptions to skip it justify the need to postpone the elections, in the opinion of the TSJC. At present, travel is permitted to go to the cinema, theatre and auditoriums, as well as to museums, libraries and exhibition halls; also to go to swimming pools of gyms or to bars, despite the fact that in all these cases there are specific limitations on seating and other measures to prevent contagion. In fact, from the Government, the Ministry of Business and Knowledge also raises the possibility of adding an exception to the municipal lockdown to go skiing.

As for the protection of the fundamental right to vote, they recalled that "the suspension is not provided for in the state regulatory framework of the state of alarm, which expressly admits the holding of elections" during the pandemic. In fact, the Generalitat argued unsuccessfully in its allegations that the fact that electoral calls were provided for during the state of alarm also included suspensions for health reasons, despite the fact that the state decree makes no specific mention of this.