MHP head Bahçeli chastises PM for rushing new charter unilaterally
DHA photoTurkey’s nationalist opposition leader has rebuked Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu for hurrying up the process of drafting a new constitution in a “patronizing” manner which ignores the priorities of Turkey’s opposition parties, including his Nationalist Movement Party (MHP).
Speaking at a parliamentary group meeting of his party, MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli recalled Davutoğlu’s recent statement in which the prime minister announced he had instructed his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) to speed up efforts to draft the new constitution after a parliamentary commission formed by the four parties in parliament was dissolved.
“If this is the case, what will happen to parliament’s conciliation commission? Did the AKP decide to run away from conciliation? Why this rush by Davutoğlu? To what should it be ascribed? Which activities were respectively undertaken to persuade the CHP [Republican People’s Party]?” Bahçeli asked, listing questions for the prime minister.
The Constitution Conciliation Committee composed of 12 deputies - three from each of Turkey’s four parliamentary parties – held its first met on Feb. 3, but however broke up on Feb. 17 over the AKP’s demand that the new charter be based on a presidential system, which no opposition party backs.
Bahçeli argued the AKP’s preparation for the new constitution “ignored” societal conciliation.
“The President [Recep Tayyip Erdoğan] is speaking of the ‘maximum common ground’ between the AKP and the MHP,” Bahçeli said, noting Erdoğan also voiced confidence that these two parties would jointly present the new charter to the nation.
“Our ‘maximum common ground’ with the AKP is a matter which needs to be elaborated on by the owner of this claim and is not a matter for us,” he said, underlining there was no change in his party’s stance concerning the content of the new charter.
“It is not possible for us to look optimistically at the AKP’s constitution-making, which is unilateral and patronizing and which puts the interests of the nation and the state on the backburner,” Bahçeli said.
The MHP leader emphasized that the AKP’s preparation, which is gripped by their insistence on a presidential system, would not be “appropriate, felicitous and legitimate.”