AKP reveals details for 18-year-old MPs
ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily NewsThe ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) deputy group chairman Nurettin Canikli has said preparations to lowering the required age to become a member of Parliament to 18 from 25 continue, and as part of this the requirement that military service be completed before running for office will be abolished.
The party is preparing a proposal and will submit it to Turkey’s Grand Assembly after it is completed, Canikli said yesterday.
“The requirement of completing military service in order to become a lawmaker will be abolished. It could be postponed. If the person gets elected without completing his military service, then he will perform his service after his term is over,” Canikli told reporters in Parliament’s lobby.
A proposal to lower the required age to be a lawmaker to 18 from 25 and allowing conscripts and military school students to use their voting rights could come to the Parliament floor this week, Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdağ said on Oct. 9. “Is electing or getting elected important? It would be very wrong to tell someone ‘you can elect the president, the prime minister, the deputy and the mayor but you cannot be elected.’ What is essential is not getting elected but making a decision to elect. If the 18-year-old voter is able to elect, than he can also make the decision to be elected,” Bozdağ said.
It could be possible to make the related amendments quickly, if the parties agree on lowering the required age, Parliament Speaker Cemil Çiçek said Oct. 9, as Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli voiced his objections to the idea.
“For my young brother who is 18 years old, at the most critical time of his life, and who may not have sorted out the issues of his education and military service, to be worried about getting elected is very difficult both materially and spiritually,” Bahçeli said yesterday, addressing his party’s deputies.