CHP to highlight freedoms in own draft constitution proposal

CHP to highlight freedoms in own draft constitution proposal

Rifat Başaran - ANKARA
CHP to highlight freedoms in own draft constitution proposal

DHA photo

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) will draft its own constitution proposal that foresees enhancing the existing parliamentary system, in a bid to oppose the new charter draft to be submitted to parliament by the government in the coming weeks.

A team composed of CHP Deputy Chair Bülent Tezcan and party assembly member Sera Kadıgil, as well as three academics, has been assigned to work on the draft constitution proposal. The draft will take 60 articles from the work carried out by an interparty commission tasked with re-writing the new constitution between 2012 and 2014.  The remaining articles will be written by the CHP’s team but will require a final evaluation with the participation of constitutional experts. 

Party sources told daily Hürriyet that the CHP would submit its draft by the end of June. 

The move comes in response to the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), which will soon disclose its self-written constitution introducing an executive presidential system to Turkey. 

With its recent change in leadership, the AKP underlined that its priority is to change the administrative system through a comprehensive or limited constitutional amendment. It is believed that the AKP will prepare its own draft within weeks, but it remains unclear when it will bring the blueprint to the agenda of parliament. 

The AKP has 316 votes at parliament, 14 short of taking the draft charter to a referendum.

A pro-freedom constitution 

The CHP’s draft constitution defines the Republic of Turkey as a “secular, democratic, pro-freedom, rule of law and social state,” adding the “pro-freedom” qualification to the four already existing unchangeable characteristics of the Turkish state.   

The preamble of the constitution will prohibit any sort of discrimination based on language religion, race and sexual orientation, while strengthening the social state nature of Turkey by installing the right to “free education” and “free health services” to the draft.  

CHP to empower independent judiciary

The CHP’s draft will reportedly plan to empower the parliamentary system, in line with Turkey’s need for a regime based on freedoms, judicial independence and efficient implementation of the rule of law. 

According to information from sources, the CHP’s writing committee is working on the part that defines the shape, role and responsibilities of the judiciary in Turkey. All members of the Constitutional Court will be elected by members of the judiciary, in a bid to reduce political influences on the top court. 

The Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK) will be divided into two boards to deal with prosecutors and judges separately, the CHP’s draft suggests, introducing mechanisms to control the functioning of separation of powers within the state system.