It's a bad start for the new presiding Board of Spain's Congress, not wanting to accept its powers as the only body responsible for interpreting the chamber's rules until the end. Nor is it surprising to see the members of Pedro Sánchez's government ignoring the question of what should be done or not with the Catalan political prisoners who've got seats in the Congress (Junqueras, Sànchez, Turull and Rull) or the Senate (Romeva). "Let Marchena decide", the political and media deep state seems to shout in chorus given a situation which makes them uncomfortable in the official offices, very uncomfortable. And not, obviously, because the pro-independence politicians are prisoners, but because they're sitting in the Cortes and the anomaly is being followed by the international news.
And one imagines Pedro Sánchez and his influential guru Ivan Redondo locked in his office in the Moncloa government palace looking over and over the surveys they've got, wondering whether it's better to suspend the parliamentarians in prison before Sunday's elections or to wait for next week. Because the decision to do so has been taken, all that's left is to choose the moment and send the file back and forth from the Supreme Court to the Congress. All it needed was for the magic number of 176 deputies needed for an absolute majority to go down to 173 if the imprisoned deputies are suspended (which would mean Sánchez doesn't need the votes of any pro-independence party to be invested prime minister) for everyone to know what they've got to do from here. Obviously, someone could think that it's much easier to have an absolute majority by suspending deputies or that it's a lot to stretch the interpretation of the law to push through the suspension of Junqueras, Sànchez, Turull, Rull and Romeva, but such thoughts will go in one ear and out the other or, even worse, just fall straight on deaf ears.
When the legislative and executive branches fuse with the judiciary this is what happens and it's hard to separate which of the powers is which in this type of decision. And the thing is that, in the end, everything ends up coming together in a ruling far from those who carry it out. When, this Wednesday, the Congress speaker, Meritxell Batet, met with king Felipe VI in the office the monarch traditionally grants to the new speaker of the Congress it wasn't, as on other occasions, the prior step to meeting with the parliamentary groups. This time that has to wait, in case Oriol Junqueras and Jordi Sànchez had called on their right as the leaders of their parliamentary groups to go to the Zarzuela palace. An image they don't want to come about and which will, with a few hours or days, disappear from the list of possibilities. Prison and violation of rights in the face of dialogue. It's hard to make progress like that.