Commission favors party closure except BDP side

Commission favors party closure except BDP side

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Commission favors party closure except BDP side

BDP Istanbul deputy Sırrı Süreyya Önder is one of the commission members. AA photo

The Parliamentary Constitution Conciliation Commission met Aug. 28 and 29 to discuss the article on the freedom of political parties. The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) defended the closure of parties under some circumstances, but the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) completely opposed it. 

Some recent incidents that have caused a public stir, including some BDP deputies embracing Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) members and the escalation of violence and terrorist activities, were the topic of the debate in the commission and were cited as justification for the closure of political parties. Each of the four parties made a separate proposal on the issue. 

“Political parties can only be closed if they resort to violence or if they encourage the use of violence. For the decision to close a party to be reached, the party must be the center of these activities,” the AKP said in its proposal. “Instead of closure, the court may rule for a partial or full deprivation of state funds, or it may issue a warning.” 

“A party’s statutes and programs cannot conflict with human rights and the principles of the Republic. Parties cannot encourage crime, violence or racism. Those parties that are the center of anti-secular activities should be closed,” the CHP’s proposal read. 

The MHP’s proposal read: “The statutes and programs of political parties, and their actions, cannot be contradict the independence of the state and its inseparable integrity, human rights, the principles of equality and the rule of law, national sovereignty, and the principles of the democratic and secular Republic. Any party that is a center for these things should be closed.”

“Political parties cannot be closed due to their activities or discourse,” read the BDP’s proposal. 
At the end of the meeting on Aug. 28, the dispute among the parties was not resolved, and the debate on the article continued Aug. 29.