Ruling AKP conditions consensus over opposition’s offer for release of jailed MPs
ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
‘All amendments should have the full consensus of the four parties, regardless of their content. This is our common ground,’ says AKP official. DAILY NEWS photo, Selahattin SÖNMEZThe ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has told the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) an article paving the way for the release of jailed lawmakers could be included in a future Constitution package, if a full consensus among all four political parties represented at the Parliament is maintained on the issue.
“All [constitutional] amendments should be with the full consensus of the four parties, regardless of their content. This is our common ground. Today, there is a consensus for 60 articles, but we would legislate all articles that have the consensus of all four parties,” AKP Deputy Parliamentary Group Chair Nurettin Canikli said on Oct. 23.
The AKP’s three deputy parliamentary group chairs met with their CHP counterparts to seek a consensus on the approval of the 60 articles that have received the consensus from the four parties in Parliament’s Constitution Conciliation Commission.
The two parties debated whether the 60 articles of a new Constitution in the making, which all parties have agreed on, should be brought to Parliament for approval.
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said last month the AKP was so “reconciliatory” that it was ready for the Parliamentary adoption of the 60 articles. In response, CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu also voiced his eagerness for the adoption of the 60 articles.
During an Oct. 23 meeting, the CHP deputy chairs reportedly proposed to adopt a provisionary constitutional article that would secure the release of seven jailed lawmakers – one from the CHP, one from the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), and five from the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP).
Although Erdoğan had previously said the 60 article constitutional package should be adopted “without any conditions,” Canikli reportedly told the CHP they would favor an article to secure the release of the jailed lawmakers only if the four parties agree on it.
The BDP will highly likely support an amendment to release jailed lawmakers, however, the MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli is known to be against an article that will pave the way for the release of the BDP deputies, who he has labeled as “separatist.” The MHP is also against the adoption of the 60-article constitutional package, claiming that the new Constitution should be legislated as a whole.
The CHP will initially seek the consensus of the four parties in Parliament’s Constitution Conciliation Commission for the constitutional article that would pave the way for the release of the jailed lawmakers and observe the attitude of the AKP during commission debates.
CHP spokesperson Haluk Koç, speaking at a press conference, pointed at the contradiction between the statements of Erdoğan and Canikli and said the CHP maintained its position for taking steps over issues that gained consensus of the four political parties.