Main opposition says ruling AKP refused support for joint declaration against Egypt

Main opposition says ruling AKP refused support for joint declaration against Egypt

Main opposition says ruling AKP refused support for joint declaration against Egypt

CHP deputy parliamentary group chair Akif Hamzaçebi speaks during a General Assembly session. AA Photo

The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) has stated that the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) declined to support a proposal for the release of a joint parliamentary declaration against death sentences for 529 supporters of ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi.

The CHP’s proposal was announced verbally during an April 8 session of the General Assembly by the party’s deputy parliamentary group chair, Akif Hamzaçebi, as he announced on his personal Twitter account late on April 8.

However, AKP Deputy Parliamentary Group Chair Belma Satır refuted Hamzaçebi’s claims via her own Twitter account.

Hamzaçebi then referred to the official minutes of the session. “I made my proposal, saying ‘Let’s release a joint declaration against death penalties in Egypt’ – which was not supported by the AKP – not during a conversation, but in a Parliament [session],” he tweeted in response to Satır.

According to Satır, CHP Deputy Chair Sezgin Tanrıkulu told the AKP group about the idea of drafting a joint proposal, but the General Assembly meeting ended without a draft being ready.

Hamzaçebi later told daily Hürriyet that the AKP had not responded to the proposal.

“There was no response at all from the AKP. The MHP [Nationalist Movement Party] told us that it would lend support to this proposal. Furthermore, MHP Deputy Parliamentary Group Chair Oktay Vural took the floor and delivered a speech, saying they approached the issue positively. However, I could not see any support from the AKP. I interpret this absence of support as a negative response to my call,” he said.

Still, as of April 9, Satır insisted that the CHP’s proposal had solely been made verbally. Tanrıkulu approached the AKP’s deputy parliamentary group chair on duty, Nurettin Canikli, and proposed drafting a joint text, Satır told the Anadolu Agency.

“Canikli gave an affirmative answer. The CHP made this proposal only verbally and didn’t bring any text either. The issue remained as it is since the General Assembly session was closed early,” Satır said, underlining that, as a party strictly opposed to the July 3 coup in Egypt, they would be ready to sign if a text on which agreement is reached is brought to them.

In a speech delivered at his party’s parliamentary group meeting on April 8, CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu called on the Egyptian leadership to suspend the death penalties of 529 defendants who were sentenced to death in late March, while stating that they wanted to see an Egypt where all people are able to express their views.

Despite frequently voicing his objection to the coup in Egypt and blaming the Western world for remaining silent, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan did not mention the issue in his parliamentary group meeting speech on April 8.