Deadline fever grips opposition parties
ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily NewsParliamentary Speaker Cemil Çiçek triggered heated discussion in Parliament’s Constitution Conciliation Commission yesterday after saying he would not be able to extend the panel’s deadline to create a new charter unless the commission members present him with a convincing argument to do so.
At yesterday’s meeting, all three opposition parties voiced a willingness to continue the work with an extension, but Ahmet İyimaya of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) argued that an extension would not be right because it appeared too difficult to reach an agreement on the articles that have not yet been debated in a reasonable amount of time.
The AKP and each of the three opposition parties do not want to be the first party to leave the negotiation table. According to Atilla Kart of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s latest remarks were an attempt to create a justification for abandoning the table. Erdoğan slammed the commission on March 29, stressing that it would be impossible to meet the April 1 deadline.
Kart also objected to a formula by Çiçek, who said each party would submit their own drafts for a new charter on April 5.