The corridor: What do citizens expect from the new Parliament?

The corridor: What do citizens expect from the new Parliament?

Turkey will be expecting a loaded agenda in the wake of the June 12 election results. The formation of the new government and who will take the ministerial posts, the Kurdish issue, the new constitution and the term of office for the president are just some of the issues.

But what about people on the street? What about their political expectations, their expectations from Parliament? What do they want in the new term?

The Association for the Protection of Citizens' Taxes, or VAVEK, has conducted a fascinating study, preparing a report that will be enlightening for the political parties entering Parliament in the new term. The report was submitted as a declaration but did not draw much attention even though it includes a list of public expectations from the new Parliament.

The new constitution, the unregistered economy, the tax system, the social security system, local governments and the fight against corruption are the topics that come forward. Let us elaborate…

The association wants the new constitution to be prepared with the highest level of social consensus and with the participation of all political parties, universities, professional associations and nongovernmental organizations. It strongly and especially stresses “consensus.”  The report demands that a relevant article be included in the Constitution so that tax amnesties can only be passed in Parliament with a qualified majority (367) just like other amnesty arrangements. It also draws attention to the significance of an effective Parliament auditing of government spending by including special articles in the constitution.

The association also demands certain important arrangements in the new constitution in the fight against corruption. According to them, articles that would allow the trial of civil servants in cases of corruption without prior permission from other authorities and the lifting of the immunity of parliamentarians should be included in the new constitution.  

The association is proposing the formation of a data bank system based on the Turkish Republic identity numbers of citizens and the monitoring of fortunes and revenues of all real and legal entities through this system. It is also advising the legal infrastructure be formed so political financing is transparent and audible. The association also believes that it would be beneficial for assets of close relatives of politicians and top-level civil servants to be publicized every year to show the determination of the Parliament on the fight against corruption and advocates that this would increase the credibility of the Parliament.  

The association suggests that the new constitution should include new adjustments that would expand the jurisdiction of local governments without violating the country’s integrity. It also states that social aids should also be under the guarantee of the constitution. It says, “Social aids provided by private persons and institutions should be based on legal grounds and should be seriously monitored by the state. We expect the necessary sensitivity to be shown on this topic during the legal preparation process in the new Parliament.”

The proposals of the association are striking and noteworthy. 

Parliament will work during the heat of the summer

Parliament will work in the heat of the summer after elections. According to the parliamentary law, new deputies should take the oath on Friday, June 24. The assembly will be headed by the oldest member. Then there will be a five-day recess for preparations for the election of the speaker. This election is earmarked to take place on June 29 while the parliamentary presidential board elections are scheduled for June 30.  

At the same time, the process of the formation of the 61st government and vote of confidence will start. The president will assign the head of the political party with the most seats to form the new government. The program of the new Cabinet will be read in Parliament no more than one week after its date of formation and a vote of confidence will be held. This process is expected to last until the middle of July. Unless there is an unexpected decision, Parliament will have a break until Oct. 1.