The general secretary of the Catalan Parliament, Xavier Muro, will not be removed from office. Pro-independence party JxCat brought the issue to the meeting of the parliament's procedural Bureau, as it had announced it would, after the parliamentary civil servant had refused to publish in full the resolutions passed by Catalan MPs on the Spanish monarchy, to avoid breaching the instructions and warnings from Spain's Constitutional Court on the content of the motions.
JxCat, however, did not win the support of any of the other parties represented in the chamber and its initiative was dismissed without even being voted on, according to Bureau sources. The meeting, held electronically, was used by Muro to defend his role and set out the legal reasons and warnings that led him to act in the way he did.
The general secretary explained that he was responsible for publication in Parliament's official gazette and that, in his view, neither the Bureau nor its members were legally able to replace him in this task. And as Muro had previously asserted, he believed it was his "duty to prevent any action that violated the rulings of the Constitutional Court" or the warnings that the court had made to him directly.
Sources close to the Bureau also explained that after the failure of the motion for Muro's ousting, the parliamentary speaker, Roger Torrent, spoke to close the debate, regretting the situation. He added that he would guarantee, as long as he was speaker, that all initiatives by parliamentary parties would continue to be admitted for possible debate, because he had always held that in Parliament it must be possible to talk about anything.
Given this, he denounced "the Spanish judicial system's persecution of the right to political representation and the freedom of expression" and considered it "incompatible with a democratic system" and that, in this particular Catalan Parliament case, it also "affects politicians and it also threatens officials".
Tension between JxCat and ERC
Even before today's meeting was held, the unionist parties PP, Cs and PSC had been completely opposed to Muro's removal and had given him their support. However, two of the pro-independence parties, ERC and the CUP, despite their opposition to the resolutions not being published in full, asked that staff in Parliament should not be targetted and had already expressed their discomfort with the JxCat request. The CUP said they were in favour of the members of the Bureau taking responsibility for a possible full publication of the controversial texts despite the criteria of the Parliament's legal advisors due to the judicial warnings receieved.
The first vice-president of the Bureau, Josep Costa (JxCat), tweeted his party's reaction after the rejection of the plan to sack Muro. He pointed the finger at the other parties that had not accepted JxCat's proposal. "We regret that today in the Bureau, the supporters of self-censorship and of censorship (ERC, Cs and PSC) have aligned themselves to endorse the decision to censor the resolutions against the Bourbon monarchy," Costa said on Twitter, adding that "without defending the sovereignty of Parliament, the 1st October referendum would not have been held."
Lamentam que avui a la mesa del @parlamentcat els partidaris de l’autocensura i de la censura (ERC, Cs i PSC) s’hagin alineat per avalar la decisió de censurar les resolucions contra la monarquia borbònica.— Josep Costa🎗 (@josepcosta) August 18, 2020
Sense defensar la sobirania del Parlament no hauriem fet l’1O.