Manuel Gallud with the mayor

A high court ruling following an appeal by the government of Catalonia in 2004, could lead to the removal of non elected councillors from their posts.

When appointing non elected members to the governing board, the basis of the operation is on the laws regulating local government, for which the translation states that, the Mayor of a council may appoint people who do not have the status of councillor to the roles normally filled by elected members, provided their number does not exceed one third of the entire board, excluding the mayor.

There are 3 councils who operate with none elected people in the roles normally covered by councillors. In Elche, Pablo Ruz of the PP operated within a council position but was unelected. In Torrevieja, José Riera and Antonio Boix, again from the PP, have the same status, and in Orihuela, Ana Mas and Manuel Gallud, appointed by the PSOE and Los Verdes respectively, also hold council positions although were not elected.

In Orihuela, the government is currently run by the PSOE and Los Verdes, although as a minority, with only 9 serving, elected councillors, against 16 effectively in opposition. Originally formed of a tri-party coalition of 13 councillors, they have slowly been reducing to the condition of 9 against 16, with their 2 non elected operatives in addition.

The ruling from the high court states that the position referred to in which the members were appointed should be declared “unconstitutional and void”, which may result in all non elected operators being forced to leave their posts, as a Mayor would not be permitted to name unelected members who were not already part of the voting and democratic process of election.

The Minister of Justice of the national government, Alberto Ruiz-Gallardón, has announced that he will ask the Constitutional Court to clarify how municipalities should act after the judgment, in particular seeking clarification as to how local governments should act in the interim period, asking for “a precise definition of what is the way to manage the temporary situation that occurs from the ruling being published until it ends legislatures that are initiated”.

Filed under: http://www.theleader.info/article/38812/

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