Intel bill postponed until after elections

Intel bill postponed until after elections

Intel bill postponed until after elections

The head of the MİT, Hakan Fidan, is seen in this file photo. Hürriyet photo

The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has decided to postpone a debate in Parliament’s General Assembly over a bill equipping the National Intelligence Organization (MİT) with expanded powers. The bill was recently approved by the Internal Affairs Commission, but voting on it will not take place until after the upcoming March 30 local elections.

Announcing the party’s decision on Feb. 28, AKP Deputy Parliamentary Group Chair Mustafa Elitaş underlined that the agenda of the General Assembly meeting had been set after consulting with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

“Our first job after the elections will be the proposal that amends the MİT law,” Elitaş told reporters.

Before a recess for the elections, a bill that outlines the closing down of private cram schools (dershanes) and a censure motion filed by the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) will be debated, while debates over a “democratization package” will also be completed, Elitaş added.

Earlier this week, AKP deputies said a constitutional amendment was required in order to open the country’s intelligence organization to parliamentary scrutiny.

During debates on the bill at Parliament’s Internal Affairs Commission, Deputy Prime Minister Beşir Atalay attempted to assuage the concerns of opposition lawmakers.

“Legal intelligence and preventive intelligence are also dependent upon the judiciary in our country. Here, we are renewing that promise. We need Parliament’s auditing about security and we also need to work with Parliament. We also need to include all other security units in this effort,” Atalay said at the time.