Felipe VI will be crowned the new king of Spain on June 19, and the ceremony will take place inside Congress.
Although Juan Carlos I has sat on the throne for nearly four decades, Spain still lacks a law regulating the procedure to be followed for a royal succession.
That is why the government now needs to pass fast-track legislation covering every aspect of the handover.
The executive on Tuesday approved a draft law that will make the abdication effective, which will now begin its passage through parliament in Congress. An absolute majority in next Wednesday’s vote is required for the bill to pass and move to the Senate for final approval.
It is expected that the ruling Popular Party, the Socialists and the center party UPyD will vote in favor. Sources at CiU said the Catalan nationalist coalition will “most likely vote in favor.”
In the meantime, the king continues to be the king to all effects and purposes”
The Basque Nationalist Party (PNV) was due to take a stand on the issue on Tuesday. Other small groups in Congress have expressed a desire for a referendum.
The exact date when the law goes into effect is set to coincide with the proclamation of the new monarch, as there can be no transitional period. In the meantime, “the king continues to be the king to all effects and purposes,” said an expert in royal affairs.
The new law will not, however, establish the outgoing monarch’s new legal status, as he will no longer enjoy immunity from the courts, a condition that is exclusive to the head of state.
However, under separate legislation that was recently approved, the monarch’s wife will be an aforada, meaning that she can only be tried by the Supreme Court, and not in the lower courts. This privilege was going to be awarded to Queen Sofía, but will now instead go to Letizia, Felipe’s wife.