AKP sets framework of its coalition protocol
Nuray Babacan - ANKARA
Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu waves to supporters after praying at the Blue Mosque in Istanbul on July 17, 2015 during celebrations of Eid al-Fitr marking the end of the fasting month of Ramadan. AFP PhotoWith Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu set to hold a second round of talks with party leaders this week, his Justice and Development Party (AKP) has already developed a protocol outlining power-sharing tactics as well as priority policies to be dealt with its potential partner.
The text drafted by the AKP, which reviewed protocols made by past coalition governments in order to draft its own new one, appears to be a flexible one that may be fine-tuned according to its partner. However, some basic elements will remain the same, regardless of its partner’s wishes.
Davutoğlu completed the first round of talks with leaders of the Republican People’s Party (CHP), the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) last week. At a July 20 cabinet meeting, the schedule of the next talks is expected to be set.
In addition to mechanisms of power-sharing and priority policy items, the AKP protocol also outlines establishing a special team for resolving possible crises with the future partner. The aim is to eliminate problems before they become public through this team, which will work like “a wise-person delegation.”
Decrees with four signatures
According to the protocol, appointments at ministries and affiliated institutions will take place on decrees with four signatures, enabling coalition partners to approve appointments initiated by each other.
Thus, appointments, replacements and dismissals requiring signature of the prime minister will additionally have signature of the partner party’s deputy prime minister. Accordingly, similar actions that are done by two signatures will be realized by written decrees with three signatures. Appointments that are approved by three signatures will be realized by decrees with four signatures.
Election threshold, HSYK
The protocol outlines lowering the 10 percent national election threshold. As there is no exact phrase specifically saying whether the threshold should be 5 or 7 percent, the AKP will mull on making the number clear after consultations with the governing partner. Still, the AKP prefers lowering it to 7 percent instead of 5 percent.
Relatedly, the AKP also plans propose a series of amendments on the Law on Political Parties as well as the Election Law. Related constitutional amendments will also be made in addition to the changes in the related laws and the AKP aims at taking necessary steps for having these amendments applied in a possible snap election.
The AKP wishes to have plans for restricting the country’s top judicial body in the protocol, too. Its idea is to have two separate boards, instead of the existing Supreme Council of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK). One board will be for the judges and the other for prosecutors, with the authority to elect the boards’ members given to parliament rather than the current system, in which the seated judges and prosecutors directly vote for its members.
Meanwhile, amendments aimed at expanding the ability of Turkish expatriates to cast votes in national elections are also on the AKP’s protocol. If an expatriate is in the country during election time, he will be able to cast his vote simply by showing his passport, according to the party’s plan.