King’s health leads main parties to mull law governing prince’s role

Two main forces in Congress consider reforms as stand-in monarch Felipe cannot assume full state responsibilities

The government and the Socialist Party both believe that the role of Crown Prince Felipe should be regularized due to concerns over the fragile health of King Juan Carlos, who is to undergo a fifth operation in the space of a year on Tuesday.

The Socialists are proposing a Royal Statute to clarify the prince's executive powers. The ruling Popular Party agrees that legislation is required — reforms to the current law have never been made — but prescribed "discretion and prudence" in the matter of succession.

The Royal Household has already made clear that the king is not considering abdicating in favor of his son. Felipe stands in for his father at official functions when the king is convalescing but has no authority to sign decrees and acts into law. The Zarzuela Palace noted the king is able to carry out his duties when in hospital and during his recovery.

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