CHP complains to civil society over the ruling party’s stance on new charter
ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
The AKP [ruling Justice and Development Party] has deceived and cheated people in the Constitution-drafting process, CHP’s Rıza Türmen says. DHA photoA parliamentary body drafting a new Turkish charter has been effectively suspended due to the ruling party’s insistence on imposing a presidential system, the main opposition has said, calling on NGOs to raise their voice against the current situation.
“The government is torpedoing, dynamiting and sabotaging the process,” said Atilla Kart, a member of the Parliament Constitution Reconciliation Commission from the Republican People’s Party (CHP). “We are calling on the 22 umbrella organizations [that lent support to the charter-making process] to duty; some people are attacking your labor and work. Don’t remain silent, show sensitivity in the name of people you represent. It has once more emerged that the AKP [ruling Justice and Development Party] has deceived and cheated people in the Constitution-drafting process. The public and intellectuals need to give the required reaction. We are complaining about the AKP to the people,” Kart said at a press conference along the CHP’s Rıza Türmen.
The AKP’s proposal, introduced Nov. 20 as part of discussions on the “executive” section of the draft charter, outlines a “Turkified version of the U.S. executive system” for the country, preserving the unitary structure with a single Parliament and giving extraordinary authority to the president.
Such a system would pave the way for a dictatorial regime no matter who the president is, Kart said, adding that the CHP did not find the proposal worth discussing.
In the first four months of 2012, before beginning work on the draft on May 1, the commission and prominent civil society organizations led by the Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodities Exchanges (TOBB) toured 13 provinces around the country under the name of the “Turkey Speaks” platform to take the pulse of the nation and their expectations for the charter. One-third of the Turkey Speaks participants were representatives of 22 civil society organizations while the remaining two-thirds were ordinary citizens who were invited randomly via mobile phone. Over 6,500 people attended the meetings.
During the press conference, both Kart and Türmen reiterated objections to the pressure put on committee members by the AKP’s deadline to finish their work.
“You are blocking the commission’s work. Why don’t you now withdraw this proposal?” Türmen said, referring to some AKP executives’ statements suggesting that they take the proposal off the table.