Jailed lawmakers to receive their salaries
ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Mustafa Balbay. AA photoEight opposition lawmakers who remain behind bars will be permitted to receive their salaries and will be entitled to other benefits, the Parliamentary Speaker’s Office Board ruled yesterday.
Authorities at the board anonymously accepted a proposal to consider the lawmakers’ detention a legitimate excuse for their non-attendance and grant them all the rights of parliamentarian membership.
The deputies had so far been denied access to their salaries amid a legal controversy on whether they should be considered to have formally assumed duty without having taken their parliamentary oaths.
The eight lawmakers, jailed pending trial on charges of involvement in anti-government coup plots or for collaborating with Kurdish separatists, were elected from prison in last year’s elections. Five of them were elected on a ticket backed by the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP), two are from the Republican People’s Party (CHP) and one is from the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP).
In a related development, CHP deputy Riza Türmen said a draft package of judicial reforms the government had submitted to Parliament should be expanded with other amendments that would ensure the release of the jailed deputies, abolish special-authority courts and shorten pre-trial detention. He expressed optimism over reports that the government favored the idea of discussing opposition proposals to that effect together with the judicial package.