Parliament needs to adjust scores of laws to new charter in next 6 months
Bülent SARIOĞLU/ANKARAThe system change approved on April 16 by a narrow majority of the electorate voting in favor of changing the constitution is set to be in effect after 2019, as the parliament readies to enter an intense period in the next six months in order to harmonize the existing legislation with the new constitution.
Since the constitutional amendment included a provision obligating the parliament to complete legislative harmonization within six months, the government is expected to issue an empowering act to conduct the legislative changes by the help of governmental decrees in effect of law.
As the cabinet will still have the authority to be in charge until the 2019 elections, when the system change goes into effect, the council of ministers will use its right to issue decree laws.
The first legislative change is expected to be in election system so that if the parliament will decide on an early election, the presidential and parliamentary elections will be held on the same day, as it was stated in the constitutional amendment. The constitutional hitch, which inhibits any changes in the election law to be in effect sooner than a year, will not be used in this first early election.
The president’s authority to issue presidential decrees will be in effect after the dual elections are held.
‘Early election is possible’
Amid claims that the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) will not wait for 2019 to “implement the presidential system,” party officials stated that the text they prepared technically allows to hold an early election and implement the presidential system before 2019.
“Parliament’s general election for the 27th Legislative Period and the presidential elections will be held on the same day on Nov. 3, 2019. Members of parliament and the president will continue to serve until the election is held. If the parliament decides to hold elections, the general election of the 27th legislative term and the presidential elections will be held together,” the provision in Article 17 of the amendment read, AKP officials said, stating that this provision was included to ensure that the implementation of the system would be possible before 2019.
“If there will be an extraordinary development both in Turkey and in the world, we have eliminated the risk of not being able to go to the election until 2019. Because otherwise, we will have to change the constitution in order to be able to decide an early election. Now it is possible without the constitutional amendment,” the AKP officials said.
“If there will be early elections, all the provisions of the presidential system will be implemented immediately after the elections, as a force of circumstances. In other words, the president will be able to use all his authorities stipulated in the constitutional amendment,” they added.
“There will only be one reason not to go to an early election, and that would be to not waste President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s remaining time in his post as president. Because if there will be an election, the 5 plus 5 rule will be in effect. The elected president will start to use his five-year term,” they stated.
Changes in top judicial bodies will be in effect immediately
The constitutional changes stipulating a change of the configuration of the top judicial bodies will be in effect immediately. In this manner, the Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK) will be re-configured within 30 days. The new members of the board will take their posts within 40 days. The president will appoint four members of a 13-member board and the parliament will decide on seven members. The Justice Minister will be the president and the Justice Ministry’s undersecretary will be the member.
Erdoğan to reestablish party ties
The president’s right to be a member of a political party can also be put into effect immediately. Following an official announcement from the Supreme Board of Election (YSK), AKP leader Binali Yıldırım is expected to make an invitation. There will be congress for Erdoğan to become the leader of the party.
Yıldırım had announced earlier that the usual congress is scheduled for 2018, however, said it can be moved to an earlier date.
Military court annulled
The third issue to be implemented immediately will be the removal of military courts. The Military Court of Appeals, the Supreme Military Administrative Court and military courts were annulled. The judges serving here will be appointed to the civilian courts in HSYK or to the active duty in the Defense Ministry; those who have passed the age limit can be retired.