Manifesto by Spanish retired military chiefs calls for Sánchez’s removal as president

Madrid, Nov 17 (EFE).- A manifesto signed by retired Spanish military officers that surfaced on Friday calls on “those responsible for the defense of the constitutional order” to remove the newly inaugurated Pedro Sánchez and alerts citizens to “the seriousness of the current situation.”

The text, which was initially made public by the digital media Infolibre and later published by the Association of Spanish Military, was signed by members of various professions, arms and corps of the Armed Forces and made public at the same time as Pedro Sánchez was sworn in as president of the government by King Felipe VI on Friday.

It comes amid political tension after the Socialist Party (PSOE) presented an amnesty bill for participants in illegalities sorrounding the Catalan secessionist process, a demand made by Catalan pro-independence parties in exchange for their support for Sánchez’s government.

For the signatories, the amnesty law registered by the PSOE in Congress, “which has no place in the current Spanish Constitution,” eliminates the equality of all Spaniards before the law and erases the crimes of convicted Catalan pro-independence supporters “for the sole personal interest” of Sánchez, “which renders the rule of law defenseless.”

The manifesto warns that accepting the referendum on self-determination and the designation of Catalonia as a “national minority,” with all the privileges that this entails under international law, could lead to a “possible rupture” in the unity of Spain.

The amnesty bill makes no mention of a referendum, and the constitutionality or otherwise of the law will be decided by the Constitutional Court when those parties that have already announced appeals, such as the conservative Popular Party (PP), file them.

The manifesto also denounces the absence of justice, equality and democracy in Spain and warns against the “harassment” of the rule of law, as the government takes over most of the judicial bodies.

The signatories criticize that the Constitutional Court is “presided over by a judge with a background that does not allow for the neutrality of his actions” and “partially composed of judges who have recently held relevant political positions in the government, which nullifies their neutrality”, and they also warn of the lack of neutrality of the Attorney General’s Office.

Such a manifesto is totally unusual in Spain; according to the Spanish law that regulates the rights and duties of members of the Armed Forces, “the military is subject to the duty of political neutrality. It may not create or join political parties and must maintain strict public neutrality with regard to the actions of political parties.” EFE


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