Kılıçdaroğlu slams municipalities’ bill

Kılıçdaroğlu slams municipalities’ bill

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Kılıçdaroğlu slams municipalities’ bill

CHP leader Kılıçdaroğlu says the new bill does not take cities and citizens into account, but aims how the AKP can gain more municipalities in elections. AA photo

The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government is following a divisive policy in regards to a draft law on metropolitan municipalities, particularly their planned arrangement in the southern province of Hatay, main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu said.

“The case of Hatay should be examined very closely. How can the government dare to drive divisiveness with a bill proposal? This country could not be divided despite all pressures, but the government divides people with this bill. This is a very heavy responsibility [for the government], this is unacceptable,” Kılıçdaroğlu said yesterday at a party meeting.

Under a new resolution submitted to Parliament by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) earlier this week, new districts will be formed in the new metropolitan municipalities and in 52 non-metropolitan cities. Furthermore, towns with populations less than 2,000 will cease to exist as separate legal entities.

When the AKP was preparing a proposal to move the date of local elections up it had also began working on a new law to extend the boundaries of metropolitan municipalities in order to gain as many votes as possible in local poll that are planned for Oct. 27, 2013.

The government’s draft outlined the division of legislative districts in Hatay based on sects of the population, CHP Hatay Deputy Mevlüt Dudu said early yesterday, adding that the ruling AKP aimed to secure more votes from the district’s Sunni population through this arrangement.

“When we take a close look at the newly formed municipalities of Arsuz and Defne, the municipal boundaries are like sectarian walls. When they were drawing the boundaries of the new districts it made one district the residence of Sunnis and another district of Alevis. This situation is the first step of the Syrian plot in our country,” Dudu said yesterday.

Kılıçdaroğlu echoed Dudu’s misgivings, claiming the AKP’s only aim was to win elections in more municipalities and ensure they remain the major political party in power.