Voters should be able to anull deputies, says NGO
ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
‘Deputies should be called to account continuously, not just during elections,’ says Women Entrepreneurs Association of Turkey chair Türktan. DHA photoA mechanism to allow constituencies to dismiss deputies they believe are not fulfilling the duties they were voted into Parliament to carry out was suggested yesterday by an association promoting women’s entrepreneurship.
“Deputies should be called to account continuously, not just during elections. Citizens should have the right to change deputies they are not satisfied with,” said Gülden Türktan, head of the Women Entrepreneurs Association of Turkey (KAGİDER), to the Constitution Conciliation Commission during yesterday’s meeting.
Speaking to the Hürriyet Daily News, Türktan explained the mechanism as periodic reviews of deputies by constituencies to determine whether or not they are carrying out their duties. “If it is observed that the deputy is not representing the constituency, a local election or a collection of signatures could be taken, and if 75 percent agree, the deputy can be recalled or replaced,” she said.
The association also met with Parliamentary Speaker Cemil Çiçek to complain about the escalating fights between deputies in Parliament and said the weekly group meetings of parties should be cancelled, as it is the party leaders’ speeches that ignite the brawls.
“When the party leaders make speeches that are sharper than knives, the fights grow. It spreads down from the top. How can a new constitution be drafted in such an atmosphere?,” a KAGİDER representative said told Çiçek.
Çiçek responded by mirroring the association’s disappointment in lawmakers, and urged them to be more vocal about their complaints and to “express their demand for a fight-free Parliament at every opportunity.”
In further suggestions to the Commission, KAGİDER stated Turkey’s new Constitution should secure equality between the sexes while enforcing affirmative action. The association also demanded secularism, protection for minorities and a lower election threshold.