AKP set to revise charter due to MPs’ criticisms

AKP set to revise charter due to MPs’ criticisms

Gizem Karakış - ANKARA
AKP set to revise charter due to MPs’ criticisms

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The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) is planning to make revisions on a constitutional amendment draft after the party’s lawmakers raised concern about articles that would usher in “substitute parliamentarians” and stipulate that a presidential candidate be born a Turkish citizen.

After AKP lawmakers noted their concern about an article which regulates substitute parliamentarians, arguing that the amendment could cause serious altercations and even result in killings, the AKP is set to remove the statements “death” and “substitute” from the article, AKP officials told daily Hürriyet on Dec. 22.

According to information provided by party officials, the regulation is expected to be changed as follows: “In the event there is a vacancy in parliament due to dismissal, the vacancy will be filled by lawmakers from the same party.”

It was stated that the Justice Ministry had also conducted a study on the substitute parliamentarian regulation.

The AKP is also planning to make revisions on another criticized statement that stipulates that presidential candidate must be born as Turkish citizens.

According to the sources, while the studies on the statement “born Turkish” are continuing, officials are reportedly discussing to either remove the expression “born Turkish” or draft a residential duration. 

The article which regulates the quorum for the prosecution of the president and ministers is also among the articles that could be revised, according to sources. The quorum is expected to be the same for the president but it could be reduced for ministers.

The AKP started to work on the revision after Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım noted the unease among some lawmakers.

“There are points that have confused our friends. There is no point in persisting on the things that are inadvisable,” Yıldırım said Dec. 22 in a meeting with his party’s provincial heads.

The meeting was convened after lawmakers conveyed their questions, noting that the system on offer was devoid of checks and balances, reduced the power of parliament and threatened the AKP’s legislative power, in addition to concerns over the impartiality of the legislation and the reduction of the minimum age to be elected.