President Quim Torra has suspended the swearing-in of his ministers, after asking for an opinion from the Catalan Legal Advisory Commission. He aims to find a legal path for the Spanish government to abandon its refusal to publish the decree with the ministers' nominations.
The postponement was announced by Torra in an press statement, which he also used to continue in the attempt to have the Spanish prime minister, Mariano Rajoy, publish the minister's nominations in the DOGC, the Catalan government's official gazette, describing it as a "required action". He announces that they will study "legal measures against the Spanish government".
Currently, the main obstacle for Rajoy's government to take the step, which according to some legal scholars is compulsory, is the nomination of ministers in prison or in exile, specifically, Jordi Turull, Josep Rull, Toni Comín and Lluís Puig.
"The political rights of all the people appointed to form part of the [Catalan] government are intact and, as such, there's no reason to justify them not being able to take possession of their responsibilities," the president writes in the statement. "The people of Catalonia, as a whole, have the right to have a government", he says, adding that the block to there being an executive in Catalonia is the Spanish government.
President Torra is looking for a way to allow for the publication of the nominations and go ahead with the swearing-in ceremony and the formation of his new executive. The step is currently blocked by the Spanish government with the support of PSOE and Cs.
What is the Advisory Legal Commission?
The Advisory Legal Commission (Comissió Jurídica Assessora) is a consultatory body, whose verdicts are non-binding, which is entrusted with establishing whether the Catalan government and its bodies are acting following the Catalan legal framework. In other words, following the Spanish Constitution and the Catalan Statute of Autonomy.
A "required action"
President Torra yesterday sent a letter to Rajoy asking him to detail the reasons for which he is preventing the official publication of the nominations, a necessary first step to them being sworn in. The Spanish government has still not replied to the message, something the president "regrets".
According to the law, Rajoy's government has ten days from Torra's nominations to publish them in the DOGC.
Various legal associations expressed their opposition to the position of Rajoy's government and wrote in a joint manifesto that the Spanish PM has the duty (as a "required action") to publish the nominations.
Spain's Supreme Court has prevented ministers Rull and Turull from being released or being able to attend the swearing-in and carry out their roles and the minister of Territory and Sustainability and the minister of the Presidency, respectively