Convicts to be given right to vote: Commission

Convicts to be given right to vote: Commission

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Representatives of three of the four parties in Turkish Parliament have agreed not to include the phrase “convicts cannot vote” in the “the right to elect and be elected” clause of the new constitution.

While the Justice and Development Party (AKP), Republican People’s Party (CHP) and Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) deputies in the Constitution Conciliation Commission reportedly agreed not to include the clause, the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) objected to the decision, since the amendment would allow the convicted Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Öcalan to vote.

“Approving an amendment that would allow Öcalan to vote is unthinkable,” said an MHP commission member in stating the party’s objections to the draft clause.

The commission decided not to include the current clause barring most convicts from voting in the new constitution. According to the new constitution, however, privates, petty officers and military school students will not be eligible to vote.

In the meeting, the CHP and MHP requested that a “justice in representation [and] uniformity in government” rule, which is present in the current Constitution and is the basis of the 10-percent election threshold, be included in the new constitution. AKP officials did not object to the addition even though the change was not included in their proposals. k HDN