Speaker says there are "parallel realities" to defend Juvillà was an MP until February 3

Borràs notes the "weakness" of Parliament before the JEC and urges for legal reforms

3 min
Appearance of Borràs at the board of spokespersons on the Juvillà case

Speaker Laura Borràs has appeared before the board of Spokespersons to give explanations about the Pau Juvillà saga, who was stripped of his seat at the behest of the Central Electoral Board (JEC). The Speaker begun her appearance asserting that Parliament is in an "extreme weakness" before the decisions of the JEC and that its "sovereignty" is questioned as a result of MPs being stripped of their seats. First, it was president of the Generalitat, Quim Torra, in 2020; more recently, it has been Pau Juvillà.

Faced with this, Borràs has proposed several actions to prevent this from happening again, which do not go through institutional disobedience as she had suggested before. She has proposed reforms to Parliament's regulations to "protect the integrity of the chamber"; a law to promote a Catalan electoral syndicate to act in electoral processes in Catalonia, and finally she has urged parties to promote a reform of the electoral law to "guarantee the inviolability of the elected" and thus eliminate the article that allows the supervening ineligibility.

The Speaker has reviewed the chronology of the facts, remarking that the CUP MP has been disqualified for a crime of disobedience as a result of hanging a yellow ribbon in Lleida city hall during 2019's municipal elections. She has explained the actions the chamber took to try to protect Juvillà's from the Central Electoral Board (JEC.

Borràs recounted how Parliament tried to respond to the JEC's decision, by activating the commission of the Statute of the Deputy (which ratified the act in accordance with the regulations, which only provides that it is removed with a final judgment) and requesting precautionary measures to the Supreme Court to overrule the JEC's decision. At the same time, she admitted that the JEC resolution was executed on February 3 with effect from January 28 –when the second request of the Parliamentary Bureau to remove Juvillà's minutes– in order to "protect the workers" of the Catalan chamber. However, Borràs has expressed her disagreement with officials' decisions, on which, she said, she has asked for a report: on the one hand, that Juvillà was removed from Parliament's website on Friday, February 4 before the table met to assess the letter by the secretary general on February 3 at night in which she stripped Juvillà of his seat by "legal imperative"; and on the other, the publication of the Official Gazette of Parliament in which it is noted that Juvillà is no longer an MP. "It is an anomaly," Borràs said, attributing the attitude of officials to "fear". "No attempt to blame the workers, the fault lies with the JEC empowered by the Supreme Court," she has resolved.

She has assured that she did not know that the services of the chamber did not summon the CUP MP to the plenary that had to vote on his seat –on February 3– and has maintained that on that day Juvillà was an MP. "It is evident that there is a double reality [...]. The Spanish legality –which strips him of his seat on January 27– and the legitimacy of the Parliament of Catalonia, which considered that Pau Juvillà was a deputy until February 4 when the secretary general left his seat by legal imperative", explained Borràs

Thus, the Speaker has maintained that she accepted his delegation of vote – stating that this is a "proof" that he was a parliamentarian at that time – but that she did not authorise him to vote due to "conflict of interest" when voting on the opinion made by the commission of the Statute of the Deputy on his situation. How can it be, then, that he had voted on the first occasion in which his situation was discussed in the plenary? Borràs has admitted that she did not know that Juvillà had participated in other votes on the case.

The opposition calls for her resignation

The explanations of the Speaker have not convinced the opposition. En Comú, Ciudadanos, Vox and the PP have called for Borràs' resignation, while the PSC has accused her of "lying" and of starring in a scene of parliamentary "contortionism". "You have only degraded the institution," the Socialist spokesman, Raúl Moreno, has reproached her. "You have turned the Parliament into a circus," the spokesman for Vox, Antonio Gallego, thundered; while Lorena Roldán (PP) has called the situation "grotesque".