Corruption key theme in AKP’s poll statement
Nuray Babacan ANKARA / Hürriyet
As the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) Istanbul candidate, Istanbul mayor Kadir Topbaş will try to maintain his post after the local elections. AA photoAs the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) Istanbul candidate, Istanbul mayor Kadir Topbaş will try to maintain his post after the local elections.
s political parties are set to launch their electioneering for the upcoming local elections in late March, which have already been overshadowed by heated political debates stemming from a huge graft scandal, the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has remarkably highlighted the “anti-corruption struggle” in a declaration it drafted for the elections.
“The Local Administrations Vision Document” and “The Local Administrations Election Declaration” are the first of their kind that have been drafted by the ruling party, which has been in power since autumn 2002.
Both documents will be made public in detail personally by the AKP leader, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
The declaration underlines the government’s fight against claims of corruption. It pledges transparency and accountability liabilities of the local administrations along operation processes, such as zoning and licensing, will be strengthened.
Accordingly, the efficiency of auditing mechanism concerning municipal loans will be provided. Ethics principles for those who are elected in local elections to municipal offices will be drafted and these persons will be monitored afterward.
The highlights related to the principle of transparency and accountability come at a time as a political turmoil is still prevailing since a huge graft inquiry became public on Dec. 17 with the arrest of businessmen close to Erdoğan and three cabinet ministers’ sons.
Living zones rather than shopping centers
In the declaration, the new understanding of municipal affairs is explained as having been composed of three phases: “Destruction period, physical infrastructure period and construction period.”
While defining the new understanding of municipal affairs as “Building cities that have character and soul after urban transformation,” a concept called “integration of the city,” is also used for the first time in this declaration.
Describing cities along with their residents as living organisms, the need to offer people living zones other than apartment blocks and shopping centers is highlighted in it.
The ruling party plans to carry out urban transformation along with residents who will have a say in the process. The declaration notes in some areas, urban transformation has not been as successful as it was desired to be because citizens’ views were not asked.
The new residential zones will be built after urban transformation and will be constructed in line with the principle of “founding new cities and districts that have identity,” says the declaration.
Referenda in districts
The theme of “The Local Administrations Vision Document” is, meanwhile, “From local to global; democracy and participation.” According to the document, the bodies that will provide residents of districts to participate in decision-making processes regarding said districts will be formed.
Accordingly, it will be up to each municipality’s individual decision how to operate “a consultative referendum” with its own mechanisms.
“Efforts will be exerted to form city lives where empathy and living together are featured. The demand of the citizens saying ‘Ask for my view too when making decisions about my street and my district,’ will be carried to life,” says the documents.