CHP, MHP object to 18-year-old MPs call
ANKARA - Hurriyet Daily NewsHeated debates erupted at Parliament’s Constitution Reconciliation Commission on Dec. 4 upon the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) proposal to lower the required age of becoming a member of Parliament from 25 to 18.
The proposal was supported by the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) while the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) wanted the required age to be 21. The Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) categorically objected to any change made to the required age.
The debates took place as commission members discussed the article covering lawmaker election eligibility.
According to the AKP’s proposal, the requirement that military service be completed before running for office will be abolished. Yet both the CHP and MHP objected to such abolishment.
As the AKP accepted their objection, the BDP said the condition for fulfillment of military service before running for office should be preserved as it is in the original AKP proposal.
“Without completing their military service, people cannot even be employed or open a trading firm.
They can’t even get married,” the CHP’s Süheyl Batum said, referring to the fact that the minimum age to get married without a parents’ consent is 18.
“While fulfillment of military service in all of these areas is sought, lifting this requirement on the way to Parliament will lead to a discrepancy,” Batum said.
In response to Batum’s question on how young people would receive a university education at the same time, the AKP’s formula was their attendance in opening education courses.
‘Literate in Turkish’
Meanwhile, concerning the education requirement for deputies, the CHP proposed “being literate in Turkish,” while the AKP asked for “primary school graduate” as a condition. Eventually, the AKP, CHP and MHP agreed on the condition of “primary school graduate,” while the BDP opposed any condition in the field of education for lawmakers.
At the end of the debate, clauses regarding the article covering lawmaker election eligibility were written with red lines from the four parties, in other words, with reservations and parentheses. k HDN