The new government

The new government

The government program of the new 64th government that received a vote of confidence in parliament earlier this week did not thrill me. I found the topics of the “fight against corruption and independent justice,” the ones that Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu emphasized in his speeches, rather weak. 

The “forming of an independent organ to fight corruption” that is persistently highlighted in EU reports has somehow not been able to find its way into the government’s programs; this time it is not there either. 

However, there are two emphases of Davutoğlu in the government program that I want to record here as pledges given to the nation: The new constitution will be written “within the scope of the broadest conciliation and the further widening of freedom fields.”

Even though the program did not thrill me, I thought it was very positive that the prime minister shook the hands of opposition leaders after the vote of confidence. Despite everything, he should have shaken hands with the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş as well.   

The prime minister said they would be in dialogue with the opposition. He wanted “the level of style and content to be raised and to have empathy” in politics; he said he would be keen to practice them himself first. I find this approach very appropriate and I applaud it. 

The reason for the current tension and polarization is not Davutoğlu, so with all my heart, I hope he maintains this approach and is effective in eliminating the polarization in the country. 

The formation of the “Parliamentary Finance Accounts Commission” proposed by the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) could help end this case of affairs. 

The meaning of the “Parliamentary Auditing Commission” that the CHP proposed in its election manifesto is this: The final accounts of the previous year, for instance, the final accounts of the year 2014 and audits from the Supreme Court of Public Accounts (Sayıştay), will be discussed at the Planning and Budget Commission. This commission is extremely busy; it is not able to audit the final accounts thoroughly. 

However, a thorough auditing of the parliament of the income and expenditure accounts of the executive power is one of the most important functions of a democracy. 

If Davutoğlu and his party accept this proposal of the CHP, it will provide a very good example of the ever-desired government-opposition relations and “final accounts” will be better audited in parliament. 

Yes, this calls for a constitutional amendment. If there is conciliation, then it is possibility to rapidly process this. 

As a matter of fact, in November 2008, there was conciliation following a CHP proposal that was submitted to parliament with the signature of Parliamentary Speaker Köksal Toptan from the AKP. However, it stayed at that point; it was not processed. Now is the right time to reconsider it.

There is no need to explain that democracy does not only consist of elections and the freedom to criticize; it is vitally important that “institutions” conduct their “legal and rational” duties.  

When the government passed the law restricting the auditing powers of the Sayıştay, the Constitutional Court annulled it unanimously for this reason. 

I personally believe in the good intentions of Davutoğlu and CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu within their own philosophy. I hope from the bottom of my heart that they reconcile on such “legal and rational” issues and that this behavior becomes a tradition in our political life.