AKP mulls two-party consensus for charter
ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily NewsThe ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) is currently considering possible new options for drafting a new Constitution, following the de-facto dissolution of Parliament’s Constitution Reconciliation Commission on Nov. 19.
The AKP could seek a two or three-party consensus and begin negotiations for parliamentary approval of the 60 articles on which the four parties in the charter panel were able to reach agreement. In order to appeal to the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), this may include moves to set arrested deputies free, according to information obtained by the Hürriyet Daily News. “We have not dropped the subject of new Constitution. We will continue our works to realize the new Constitution,” Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdağ told reporters in Ankara yesterday. Bozdağ also said the climate was not currently “appropriate” for the AKP to introduce its own Constitution draft. Another scenario suggests that the AKP could introduce its self-drafted 104-article Constitution to Parliament in a symbolic way, as it does not have a sufficient number of lawmakers to pass the draft. However, Mustafa Şentop, a Commission member for the AKP, told the Daily News that introducing a draft charter ahead of the local elections would be difficult.Commission head Cemil Çiçek will send a letter to the leaders of the four parties this week expressing his opinion that the panel is unable to draft a new Constitution. The members from the three opposition parties, who met on Nov. 19 in the absence of AKP lawmakers, will hold two more sessions. They stressed that Çiçek had no right to dissolve the Commission unilaterally. Nevertheless, the panel would be automatically dissolved in the event of a party’s absence in three consecutive meetings. The three opposition parties are therefore planning to accuse the AKP of “leaving the Constitution table.” The CHP’s Atilla Kart said the three opposition parties’ panel members would hold their second meeting on Nov. 25. “If the AKP does not attend the third meeting, the Commission will be annulled.”