Ruling AKP asks for the dissolution of the Charter panel
ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
The first meeting of the Parliament's Constitution Conciliation Commission was held on Oct. 19, 2011. DAILY NEWS photo, Selahattin SÖNMEZThe ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has called for the dissolution of the Parliament’s Constitution Conciliation Commission arguing that the negotiations on the draft articles have come to a deadlock.
Mehmet Ali Şahin, a commission member representing the AKP, has reportedly asked the Parliament Speaker Cemil Çiçek to dissolve the commission during a closed-door meeting of the Charter panel at Parliament in Ankara on Nov. 18, sources told Hürriyet Daily News.
Şahin maintained that Çiçek, who also chairs the Charter panel, had such authority as the Commission was established on shis initiative two years ago.
However, Commission members from the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) objected to Şahin’s proposition.
“This commission was established jointly by the four parties in Parliament and not speaker. The Commission can only be dissolved if one of the four parties leaves the table. We will remain at the table, but if the AKP wants to leave it, it is up to them to make such a decision,” an opposition member of the commission was quoted as saying by HDN’s Parliamentary sources.
Çiçek reportedly said that he would announce the panel’s dissolution if all four parties agreed on it before calling for a new meeting on Nov. 18 to decide if the drafting would continue.
Prior to the meeting Çiçek had given a televised interview with private news broadcaster Samanyolu Haber, during which he said it was useless to keep on negotiating if the four parties involved would not reach consensus on articles still remaining further articles.
The four-party Constitution Conciliation Commission declared numerous deadlines for the conclusion of their efforts to draft a new charter, but the panel has failed to find success so far, reaching a consensus on just 60 articles. Over 100 articles still remain to be discussed.
“If we have [only] been able to draft 60 articles within two years and a month, then we should ask whether it can be finalized before elections. We have to review all our efforts. Pretending to be doing it is one thing, but doing it is another thing. All hopes that the commission could draft a new Constitution have been killed off,” Çiçek said.
“We have to discuss whether this commission will be fruitful. But instead, we are discussing ‘who will leave the table.’ This commission was established for drafting a Constitution, not just for staying at the table,” Çiçek also added.
Before the Parliament’s summer recess, the AKP had offered the adoption by the legislature of 60 articles, but the main opposition CHP insisted that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced that he would not seek to adopt a Presidential system.