Constitutional committee revises presidential authorities on draft charter

Constitutional committee revises presidential authorities on draft charter

Constitutional committee revises presidential authorities on draft charter Authorities envisaged for the president in amendments proposed for a constitutional change were revised by a parliamentary constitutional commission, as the 21-article amendment draft was reduced to 18 articles with the latest revisions proposed by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) on late Dec. 28. 

Articles 9, 10 and 11 which sees the president’s authority, duties and liabilities were passed with some revisions in a constitutional panel.

Article 14, which proposed to give the president the right to establish public legal entities and to govern procedures and principles of the appointment of senior public officials by presidential decrees, was withdrawn in a proposal from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).

Article 15, which proposes to give the president the authority to regulate authorities and responsibilities of public institutions and organizations by the central administration, was included in Article 9 to regulate the president’s authority.

The article however raised concern among lawmakers from the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) who said the article would give the president the right to form a federal government which could lead to the division of the country.

According to revisions made in Article 9, the sentence which put forward “the president to be commander-in-chief of the Turkish Armed Forces” was changed to “the president will represent the commander-in-chief of the Turkish Armed Forces on behalf of the parliament.”

With the agreed articles, the president will have the authority to issue law, have the right to veto laws enacted by parliament and will have the right to file an annulment action on laws and the parliamentary bylaw by arguing that it was contradicting the constitution.

The AKP has previously proposed to withdraw Article 5, stipulating substitute parliamentarians, which caused mounting concerns among AKP officials who said the article may cause serious altercations such as killings.

The commission has also agreed to make the revision of the Article 6 stipulating the duties of the parliament. The authority of “making an inquiry”, which was forgotten to be counted among the tasks of the parliament in the proposal, was also included in the proposal by the revisions.

Accordingly, the parliament will exercise its authority to acquire and monitor information through parliamentary inquiries, general interviews, parliamentary inquiries and written questions. The Parliamentary Survey will only be functioning as a survey to gather information on a particular topic.

With the latest revisions, the 21-article offer has now been reduced to 18 articles.

During eight days of panel discussions, the 10 articles of the now-18-article offer were agreed amid altercations between AKP and opposition lawmakers while AKP has proposed several revisions to be made in accordance with concerns raised by AKP lawmakers.

Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım previously confirmed the concerns and met with the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli to discuss possible revisions on Dec. 22.

Officially, the panel has a month to discuss the charter and to submit a report to parliament for voting.