• The Government maintains that the act of observance of the Princess of the Constitution can be held when the Cortes are constitutedearly 2024

    • The elections will be held, the president has ratified, in December 2023but not in the following January, because the Magna Carta prevents it

    A controversy that for the Government is more artificial than real has sparked a lot. That the Princess of Asturias has to take the oath of the Constitution before the Cortes Generales turn 18, could you interfere in the date of the general elections? The Executive’s response is resounding: No. Absolutely. The formal act of compliance with the Magna Carta, he stresses, does not have to be held on the same day that Leonor de Borbón reaches the age of majority, the October 31, 2023can take place later, when the new Parliament that emerges from the polls is constituted.

    It has been in the last week when Pedro Sánchez himself has had to answer the same question on up to three occasions. The oath of the first-born of the King won’t influence him when it comes to locating the legislative ones, because they will be convened for “December 2023”, assured the press conference in Madrid on Friday. On Tuesday, in Palma, and after dispatching with the Monarch in the Almudaina Palace, he added that when appropriate he will speak with the Head of State and with the Royal House. But the president expanded more with the journalists in Mostar (Bosnia and Herzegovina), during his tour of the Balkans, in an informal conversation with them. The October 31, 2023he pointed out, “The world is not ending“nor does it condition the date of the elections.

    Article 61.2 of the Constitution does not specify that the heir must take the oath on his 18th birthday, but only when he reaches the age of majority

    And it is that the roundness of Sánchez is explained because the Executive has raised the legal consultation and the answer is conclusive, according to government sources: there is no problem in the Princess’s oath being solemnized in the Cortes Generales months after she turns 18. It does not have to be organized for October 31, when the Congress and Senate are presumably dissolved. Because, in addition, it does not explain it the Magna Carta in its article 61.2: “The Crown Prince, on reaching the age of majority, and the Regent or Regents on taking over their duties, will take the same oath [de desempeñar fielmente sus funciones, guardar y hacer guardar la Constitución y las leyes y respetar los derechos de los ciudadanos y de las comunidades autónomas]as well as fidelity to the King”. Felipe did swear as heir on his 18th birthday, January 30, 1986but with his daughter it would not have to happen the same.

    All the tangle of dates comes, first, by the date of the generals. Sánchez has always expressed his determination to exhaust the legislature. And it was speculated that she could hurry to the maximum, taking them to January 2024. But he himself already settled months ago, in another informal talk with journalists, that this was not possible, and he reiterated it last Friday at a press conference. The elections will be in December 2023 “because It is a constitutional mandate“, he argued, and this government, unlike others, “complies with the Constitution.”

    Election, not constitution of the Cortes

    Why december? The previous generals were held on November 10, 2019. If Sánchez does not anticipate the elections, the Cortes would be dissolved automatically at the four years of your choice. This is how they prescribe Articles 68 and 69 of the Magna Carta: the mandate of the deputies and senators “ends four years after their election or the day of the dissolution of the Chamber”. That is, it would end on November 10, 2023, at the latest. The Basic Law of 1978 not talking about the constitution of the Chambers (the last one was on December 3, 2019), but of their election at the polls.

    If there is no advance, Congress and Senate will be dissolved on October 17, 2023, 14 days before the 18th birthday of the firstborn. The elections would then be on Sunday, December 10

    And, if there is no advance, the Article 42.2 of the Organic Law of the General Electoral Regime of 1985 points out that the decree calling the elections is issued 25 days before the expiration of the mandate of the respective Chambers, and is published the following day in the BOE. This means that the decree would be issued on October 16 of next year, and would be published on Tuesday the 17th. From there, we must count 54 days forward, which is the duration of the electoral process in Spain. That means that, at the latest, the generals would take place on Sunday December 10, 2023. That’s all Sanchez can rush.

    Therefore, by the time Leonor turns 18, on October 31 of next year, the Courts will be yes or yes dissolved in case there is no advance. Spain would be in pre-campaign. The formal act of observance of the Princess of the Constitution could be held that same day before the Permanent Delegations of Congress and Senate, the bodies in which the power of the Chambers rests during parliamentary vacations or when they are dissolved, but the Government understands that the swearing-in is such a solemn ceremony that it is convenient to organize it for when the new Parliament are already constitutedafter the general This will happen in the 25 days following the elections (it is sent Article 68.6 of the Magna Carta), no later than January 4, 2024.

    The dilemma posed by December 10 is that Spain will be enjoying the Constitution Bridgeso the socialist leader could advance the polls one week, until sunday 3, reason why the summons decree would be published on Tuesday, October 10. In this case, the new Courts would have to be formed, at the latest, on December 28, 2023.

    2023, a very intense political year

    After some legislative ones, there is always a solemn opening ceremony of the Cortes, presided over by the King, but this has only been organized when the President of the Government has been sworn in and just after his Cabinet takes office. In other words, it has not been held in the short legislatures in which the investiture failed (neither after the elections of December 20, 2015, nor after those of April 28, 2019). One question is whether the opening of the Cortes will be added to Leonor’s oath or whether there will be two independent ceremonies. In the Operetta they prefer not to comment, neither on the compliance of the Princess nor on the unique character or not of the act. “When the moment comes, will be discussed, as the president has said. Everything will be addressed then,” official sources from the institution respond.

    The legislative pre-campaign and campaign will coincide with the Spanish presidency of the EU, which Moncloa is conscientiously preparing and which Sánchez intends to exploit to the fullest

    Either way, 2023 will be a year very politically intense. And it will go ‘in crescendo’. On May 28, the regional and municipal elections will take place, and during the summer the new city councils and the new parliaments and regional governments will be constituted. And on July 1 starts the Spanish Presidency of the European Uniona semester that Moncloa is already conscientiously preparing and that Sánchez intends to exploit to the maximum with multiple events throughout Spain, in addition to the informal summit of leaders and the meeting of the Twenty-seven and the countries of Latin America (EU-CELAC) —the latter had not been held since 2015—.

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    The Spanish presidency will coincide, therefore, with the pre-campaign and campaign of the December generals. The Government has always insisted that this is not a problem, because France assumed the leadership of the community club in the first half of 2022 and had the two rounds of the presidential elections (which ended with Emmanuel Macron re-elected), in April, and the legislative ones, in June. The generals in Spain will take place, if not half in advance, at the end of the Spanish semester, on December 10, in full bridge of the Constitution but two weeks before Christmas.

    The horizon is dizzying. That is why Sánchez has already turned on the machinery of his party, recomposed its leadership and reinforced Moncloa. And maybe there is more moves.