Parliament by-law amendment approved amid criticisms from opposition

Parliament by-law amendment approved amid criticisms from opposition

Parliament by-law amendment approved amid criticisms from opposition The Parliamentary Commission has finalized the discussions on the 18-article amendment to the internal regulation of the Turkish parliament late on July 20 amid criticisms from opposition parties.

The regulation draft, which was prepared by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) has been accepted by the Parliamentary Constitutional Commission after long sessions with fierce arguments. The commission has worked for 63 hours in six days.

The amendment includes changes in the working hours of the general assembly, methodic changes in the procedure concerning legislating draft laws, voting, making an oath and durations for giving speeches. 
According to the change, “lawmakers who refrain from giving an oath will not benefit from the privileges that come from being a lawmaker.”

“During the general assembly discussions, a lawmaker who would defame or insult the constitutional order which is framed by the first four articles of the constitution, or the common history of Turkish nation, a lawmaker who uses a terminology against the indivisible integrity of the Republic of Turkey and against its administrative structure stated in the constitution will be dismissed from the general assembly temporarily,” the amendment wrote. Entering the general assembly with a gun is also written among the grounds for dismissal. 

The amendment also included actions like “carrying placards, banners or similar material which would disturb the working order of the general assembly,” within the grounds of “reprimand” for lawmakers. 

Opposition’s criticism

The constitutional commission has also hosted the criticisms of the opposing Republican People’s Party (CHP) and People’s Democracy Party (HDP) members. During the long hours of discussions, the opposition members voiced their concerns over the constitutional amendment and post-coup crackdown. 

Following the approval of the 16th article, HDP lawmaker Mithat Sancar had announced their efforts in the commission were futile and they would refrain from the commission. 

With the withdrawal of the HDP, the last two articles were approved late June 20.