MHP steps in to limit immunity of deputies
ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily NewsLawmakers supporting terrorism should not enjoy parliamentary immunity, the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) has suggested, proposing a constitutional amendment in the aftermath of the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) deputies’ recent meetings with Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) members.
The MHP’s proposal envisages the inclusion of “supporting terrorism and terrorists” to Article 83 of the constitution, which stipulates under what conditions a lawmaker’s immunity could be lifted. The existing article states that a deputy who is alleged to have committed an offense before or after an election cannot be arrested, interrogated, detained or tried unless Parliament decides otherwise. “It is obvious that those who are not ashamed to embrace those who have the blood of martyrs on their hands contribute to the crimes committed, as much as their fellows in the mountains do,” MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli said yesterday in a written statement.
The BDP deputies were stopped by a group of PKK members two weeks ago in Hakkari province as they entered Şemdinli. The warm reception the deputies gave to the PKK members created an uproar.
The MHP’s proposal also includes a change in favor of arrested deputies. It aims to limit the conditions of arrest, urging jurisdiction to allow such deputies to attend Parliament. Peace and Democracy Party deputy Hasip Kaplan, on the other side ciriticized MHP’s proposal, saying that the same amendment was made in 1994 and it was a major mistake.