Ayuso, on the pardons: "What will the king of Spain do from now on? Will he sign them?"
Ciudadanos considers president of Madrid's words "madness" and "populist"
MadridThe president of Madrid region, Isabel Díaz Ayuso, made some controversial statements on the role of Felipe VI in the pardons of the Catalan political prisoners this Sunday moments before the beginning of the rally in Plaza Colón in Madrid. Ayuso, in an attempt to accuse the president of the Spanish government, Pedro Sánchez, of turning the king into "accomplice" of the pardons, has ended up directly questioning Felipe VI, questioning whether he should sign them and taking for granted that he could not sign them. "What will the King of Spain do from now on? Will he sign the pardons? Will they make him an accomplice to this?", Ayuso wondered.
What looks like a new improvisation by the Madrid president in reality is the position held by the PP. Sources in the party leadership already pointed out days ago that Sanchez "would have to be responsible" and not put the king in the position of having to sign the pardons when they are approved by the council of ministers. The Constitution, however, does not give the king the ability to decide what laws and decisions to sign. According to the Constitution, the responsibility of the head of state is to sanction laws. This also applies to pardons. In a constitutional monarchy, the responsibility to sign laws and pardons is a formal, symbolic attribution.
Ayuso affirmed that the president of the Spanish government "has gone from being simply an inspector to being an accomplice in what is happening" and assured that Madrid wants to vindicate "the unity of Spain, the sovereignty of the people, the Constitution and the role of the king". The Madrid president has also asked Pedro Sánchez to explain "what else they will do" in relation to Catalonia and if they will opt "for the Scottish path and the independence of Catalonia"
Ayuso's words have been criticized especially by Ciudadanos, one of the three parties which have supported the demonstration against pardons. Some leaders have described her words as "madness" and "populist". "I do not know whether it is more serious that the president of Madrid is unaware of the limitations that the Constitution establishes on the king or that she prefers, in a new outburst of populism, to put the focus on the monarchy and take responsibility away from Sánchez. Shameful", Cs secretary of organisation, Borja González, wrote on Twitter.