The PP deputy who this Thursday promoted the validation of the labor reform with his vote in favor, Alberto Casero, has sent a letter to the president of Congress, Meritxell Batet, alleging that their right to vote was “broken” in a “unilateral” and “arbitrary” way, since there was “an anomaly” with her telematic vote that “did not correspond to her will”, which was to vote against the norm, and that Batet herself refused to exercise vote in person.
Through this letter, Casero has assured that there was “what seemed like a system failure” because he voted electronically ‘no’ and in the certificate issued by the Chamber it was recorded as ‘yes’. At that time, when the vote had not yet begun, he tried to contact Congress, without success, so he decided to move from Cáceres to Madrid – he was at home due to illness – in order to vote in person, something that “he was prevented”. Meanwhile, his parliamentary group “asked the president to call an urgent meeting of the Bureau”, although in Casero’s opinion, Batet “refused and decided unilaterally and arbitrarily arrogate to the will of the Table as a whole, starting the vote”.
What happened later is well known: the labor reform went ahead by a single vote difference, precisely that of Casero, since the two deputies of the Union of the Navarrese People (UPN) decided to break the voting discipline of their party and they stood against it. Had it not been for that failed vote of the PP, the reform would have declined.
As TVE has learned, the PP deputy voted erroneously -supporting the PSOE- in two other votes: against the processing of the decree as a bill (he had to do it in favor) and against a point of his group on the legislative agenda of the Government (he should also have voted affirmatively).
The Presidency insists that the vote was cast correctly
The Presidency of Congress, for its part, differs from the deputy’s version. As sources from the organization have explained to TVE, minutes before the vote took place, around 8:00 p.m., the PP spokesperson in Congress, Cuca Gamarra, went up to the Hemicycle tribune, where the members of the table, for report that there has been “a computer error” with the vote of one of its deputies. It is precisely the image that was shown this Thursday, where Gamarra appears in the gallery together with Batet and the vice presidents Alfonso Rodríguez Gómez de Celis (PSOE) and Ana Pastor (PP).
In order to verify this information, the president of the Congress asked the lawyers of the Chamber present there if there had been some type of “computer error” with the vote of the deputy Alberto Casero. The lawyers proceeded to verify the vote in the system and concluded that “the vote was cast correctly”.
According to the same sources, this led the president of Congress to, since said error had not occurred, not lead to the vote being repeated in person, because “even if there is a mistake, it is not possible to vote again.”
Casero maintains that his right to vote has been “violated”
However, Casero has argued in his letter that his right to vote has been “vulnerated” and that the result of the vote on the labor reform “does not express the popular will” since one of the votes cast is contrary to the meaning expressed through the telematic system. And it alludes to article 82 of the Congress regulations, which states that “the vote cast through this procedure must be verified personally through the system that, for this purpose , establish the Table and will act in the power of the Presidency of the Chamber prior to the start of the corresponding vote”.
In addition to this letter, the PP has presented two others, requesting the convening of an urgent Table and that the result of the vote not be published, and has announced that it is willing to go to the Constitutional Court. The president of the party, Pablo Casado, warned this Friday that if Batet refuses to rectify the vote “she could be prevaricating and this would have legal consequences for her.”
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.