SPAIN. Madrid: The top head of Spain’s Supreme Court resigned on Monday, creating a definite void at the helm of one of the country’s prime institutions and nudging two political parties to convene and end a 4-year impasse over judicial appointments.
“Remaining in the post from now on would only make me complicit in a situation I abhor and is unacceptable,” Carlos Lesmes, who stayed on as the tribunal’s acting president after his mandate ended in 2018, said in a statement released on Sunday evening.
Post Lesmes’s resignation, socialist Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez and Alberto Nunez Feijoo, the leader of the opposition People’s Party, convened as a preliminary step towards appointing new members of the General Council of the Judiciary (CGPJ), the body that selects the country’s top judges.
“We are now ready to find a solution quickly,” Felix Bolanos, the minister in charge of relations with parliament, told reporters on Monday after the meeting between Sanchez and Nunez Feijoo.
“We are committed to negotiating earnestly,” he added.
The CGPJ members are elected by a three-fifths majority in parliament, which has proved near impossible without the backing of the People’s party.
Owing to the growing polarisation of the political climate in Spain, there have been frequent disagreements between the two main parties, which have spent the better part of the last four years plunged in a bitter feud, accusing each other of bad faith and foul play.
“We’ve moved forward to reach a joint renewal of the CGPJ and Constitutional Court in a new framework with new criteria deepening their independence,” Nunez Feijoo said on Twitter.
Lesmes was elected as the 8th president of the General Council of the Judiciary and the 48th President of the Supreme Court in 2013.
He also possesses the Grand Cross of the Order of St Raymond of Peñafort and a gold medal awarded by the Spanish Pro-Human Rights League for his work in favor of conscientious objection (an individual who has refused to perform military service on the grounds of freedom of thought, conscience or religion).