AKP may keep files to lift MPs’ immunity

AKP may keep files to lift MPs’ immunity

The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) is likely to hold the files on lifting the parliamentary immunity of 10 Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) lawmakers at Parliament’s joint Constitution-Justice Commission. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan could still make a last-minute push, but the issue will be clarified at the party’s Kızılcahamam camp over the weekend.

“Lifting the immunities of BDP lawmakers would escalate the tension in an atmosphere where the tension has already risen,” an AKP deputy parliamentary group chair, who asked to remain anonymous, told the Hürriyet Daily News yesterday.

The BDP lawmakers, including co-chair Gültan Kışanak, were seen embracing and warmly chatting with PKK militants near Şemdinli in Hakkari province on Aug. 17. Following a two-month-long examination, the Van Prosecutors’ Office asked for permission to open a probe into the BDP deputies on charges of providing aid to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). The prosecutor has demanded annulment of the deputies’ parliamentary immunity and five-to-10-year jail sentences.

Erdoğan had called on the judiciary to take action against the BDP deputies.

However, considering the latest developments that have caused rising tension in Southeastern Anatolia such as ongoing hunger strikes in prisons, senior AKP members are considering holding the files for the lifting of immunity of the BDP lawmakers.