CHP gives cold shoulder to AKP’s immunity proposal

CHP gives cold shoulder to AKP’s immunity proposal

Bülent Sarıoğlu - ANKARA
CHP gives cold shoulder to AKP’s immunity proposal

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Turkey’s main opposition party has given a cold shoulder to a proposal by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) on a provisional change in the constitution which would allow parliament to lift the immunities of Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) lawmakers and others for one time only. 

“We believe that it should cover all crimes that have been committed until the date when the law goes into force. We have fundamental points of disagreement,” Özgür Özel, the deputy parliamentary group chair of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), told reporters on March 31 after a delegation from the AKP handed over a revision of their proposal which was supposed to be in line with the CHP’s priorities.

“We believe that the ruling party’s efforts to keep former and current ministers within the armor of immunity are noteworthy. It is not right to say that it is a process which has been closed because every kind of new evidence would require an investigation,” Özel said, referring to former AKP ministers Egemen Bağış, Zafer Çağlayan, Muammer Güler and Erdoğan Bayraktar, who were the subject of fraud and corruption allegations in the aftermath of a massive corruption case in December 2013. 

The four ministers involved in the corruption allegations were cleared by a court ruling after the reassignment of judicial officials, while a January 2015 parliamentary vote after a commission study finally quashed all investigations.

AKP deputy parliamentary group chair Naci Bostancı, who met with Özel, meanwhile, argued that the process involving the four had actually been “consummated.”

“It would not be right to act from the beginning as if these [consummations] do not exist,” Bostancı said.