MP De Dalmases temporarily steps down as spokesman in CCMA committee
He asks JxCat to start an internal inquiry so he can "defend himself" after he scolded a journalist
BarcelonaTogether for Catalonia (JxCat) MP Francesc de Dalmases will "temporarily" leave his position as JxCat spokesman in the Catalan Media Corporation (CCMA) committee, which controls public media, after the controversy sparked by his scolding a FAQS journalist. At the same time, he requested the party start an internal inquiry to clarify the events give him a chance to "refute and defend himself against the accusations that have appeared in recent days in the media and social media", since the information is "damaging to his reputation". All this will be voted on in the next party executive meeting, where the controversy will be addressed, as JxCat explained in a statement
The announcement has taken place just after a meeting at the highest level within the party, where secretary general Jordi Turull took part, as well as Laura Borràs. Yesterday there was a meeting of JxCat parliamentary party and it did not result in any decision: both De Dalmases and Borràs, who were present during the events, denied that there was any intimidation before the rest of JxCat parliamentarians.
This Wednesday Parliament's plenary started with all looks on De Dalmases, yet the issue was not brought up during the debate. However, JxCat's coalition government partner Republican Left of Catalonia (ERC) has made a move: they have sent a letter to the Parliamentary Bureau requesting De Dalmases's case be analysed by the MPs' Statute committee to assess whether he has violated MPs' Code of Conduct. En Comú had already made this request yesterday, while CUP demanded De Dalmases's resignation and Ciudadanos is promoting an institutional declaration to condemn "intimidation" of the FAQS journalist.
And what does MPs' Code of Conduct say? Its Article 8 regulates the relationship with the media and specifies that it must be "oriented in favour of citizens' right to information and citizens' right to have an informed opinion". It also adds that MPs have to take care of "the attitude, the language used and the treatment towards the information professionals" in order to "preserve the dignity of the parliamentary institution".
According to this, and after having investigated the facts and given a hearing to the investigated MP, the MPs' Statute committee has to prepare a report and send it to the Parliamentary Bureau, which then decides whether or not to propose a sanction depending on its conclusions. The sanctions can range from a "public reprimand" to a "suspension" on the MP's status until the breach of the Code is corrected, including a financial fine of between €600 and €12,000. Failure to comply with the chapter that has to do with the attitude towards the media is a "minor" offence.