Opposition reacts against ‘nighttime raids’ of omnibus bills

Opposition reacts against ‘nighttime raids’ of omnibus bills

Nuray Babacan ANKARA
Opposition reacts against ‘nighttime raids’ of omnibus bills

DHA Photo

Turkey’s two largest opposition parties have expressed their anger at the government’s increasing tendency to pass new laws through large multi-article omnibus bills, as a new omnibus bill is set to be prepared following approval of another one early on Sept. 10.

Some 2,994 items of law were approved in 64 separate omnibus bills in the last legislative season alone. The number of omnibus bill approved throughout the 12-year rule of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) stands at 150.

The items in omnibus bills are not prepared in commissions but depend on instant motions. They are also rarely the outcome of consultations with related civil bodies.

Akif Hamzaçebi, the vice head of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), went through the figures and described the increased popularity of such bills as a “seizure of legislation.”

The ruling party uses omnibus bills to prevent discussion of the laws by the opposition and the public, Hamzaçebi said.

“This is a malpractice, using the power of the majority [at Parliament] to implement controversial laws with nighttime raids,” he said, referring to the voting of such bill, which usually lasts for many hours.

Meanwhile, Oktay Vural, from the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), also said such a method was not “making law” but rather “justifying the government’s benefits.

Omnibus codes are “the mortgage on the national sovereignty and will,” Vural added.