Lawmaker in jail signals resignation

Lawmaker in jail signals resignation

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Lawmaker in jail signals resignation

Main opposition lawmaker Mehmet Haberal was arrested in April, 2009. AA photo

A main opposition lawmaker who is currently under arrest pending trial on coup plot charges has reportedly said he was considering resigning from his parliamentary post.

Mehmet Haberal, who was elected as a deputy in July 12, 2011 elections in the ranks of the Republican People’s Party (CHP), told a group of CHP deputies visiting him that there was no point of keeping his post “if I cannot perform my duties.”

“I was elected in Zonguldak with 140,000 votes, but I’m not allowed to exercise my duties,” Haberal told CHP lawmakers Veli Ağababa, Kamer Genç and Tufan Köse, who visited him in Silivri Prison on June 21.
“There is no point in being a lawmaker if I will not be in Zonguldak’s service. This issue should be discussed in Parliament,” Haberal reportedly added.

Haberal was arrested on April 17, 2009 on charges of being a member of the alleged Ergenekon crime gang, and was hospitalized right after his arrest for cardiac disease. In April 2010 he had pled via video-conference, then he was discharged from the hospital and transferred to the prison after a report given by the hospital.

Ağababa told the Hürriyet Daily News that Haberal could resign at any time. Haberal could not take the parliamentary oath after being elected, since he was arrested at the time. But still, his possible resignation will need to be approved by a majority in Parliament according to Article 84 of the Constitution.