The opposition described the act as a blow to democracy
The Spanish government has unanimously approved Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez’s proposal to pardon nine of the politicians in prison for holding the illegal referendum on Catalonia’s independence in 2017.
They are to be released from prison after King Felipe VI signs a decree releasing them, but the Supreme Court is ready to pardon them immediately. According to analysts, this will avoid criticism of the monarch by Spanish citizens, most of whom do not approve of the amnesty, Bulgarian National Radio reported.
As an explicit condition for pardons, it is stated that the 9 politicians should not commit other crimes in the next between 3 and 6 years, otherwise their sentences will come into force again and they will be imprisoned.
In addition, the ban on holding public office remains, which has provoked an angry reaction from the Catalan government, and local Parliament Speaker Laura Boras has said she will give a formal reception in honor of her convicted colleagues.
This comes just a day after the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg approved a resolution calling for independence leaders to be released and for Spain to reform its legislation on penalties for riots against the country’s constitutional order.
The opposition, represented by the People’s Party, Citizens and Vox, called the pardons a “blow to democracy” and said it would appeal and vote no confidence in the government, and parties seeking an independent Catalonia considered them “Insufficient”.
There have already been thousands of protests against them in Madrid and other cities in the country, and the prosecutor’s office and the Supreme Court have ruled in advance that they are not advisable and will weaken the rule of law in the country.