Parliament's commission discusses fate of new Constitution

Parliament's commission discusses fate of new Constitution

Parliaments commission discusses fate of new Constitution

Parliament Speaker Çiçek (C) walks out of Anıtkabir, founding father Atatürk’s mausoleum, before a key meeting. Daily News Photo

Only two days after being re-elected to his current post, Parliament Speaker Cemil Çiçek chaired a key meeting of Parliament’s Constitution Conciliation Commission yesterday, in a bid to resolve potential deadlock concerning the commission’s work.

“Both the process and the affair itself are giving out an SOS [danger signal],” Ahmet İyimaya, ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) deputy and a member of the commission, told reporters before the meeting.

“We do not know whether the sun sets or rises again. But this work has brought in a significant acquis,” İyimaya said, arguing that even if they could not eventually produce a Constitution, the experience that they had and the production thus far would be sufficient even for drafting a few constitutions.

Although implicitly, and echoing the general approach of his party, İyimaya sounded pessimistic about the fate of the process.

On the opposition front, Faruk Bal of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), another member of the commission, underlined how the ruling party’s stubbornness not to give up their presidential system proposal has been hindering the performance of the commission.

“There are three factors inhibiting the agreement. The first one is the AKP’s persistence with the presidential system. This persistence causes intransigence on 41 articles,” Bal told reporters before the meeting with Çiçek.

“The second one is the demands of the BDP [Peace and Democracy Party], such as ‘war compensation’, which will form a federal state and will form a basis for ethnic separatism. These are not acceptable and they also cause intransigence on 38 articles,” Bal said.

According to the MHP deputy, the third reason which impeded motivation was the government-led peace process aimed at ending the three-decade long conflict between the security forces and the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

“This demoralizes and causes a lack of motivation. When intending to do something new, these three reasons have to be annihilated,” Bal maintained.

Main opposition furious

As for the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), their member deputies of the commission repeatedly and furiously argued that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was actually using so-called slowness in the commission’s work for imposing its own priorities, such as the presidential system proposal, as a fait accompli and for eventually “escaping from the table.”

The speaker may begin round of talks with the with political party leaders over the weekend, sources said.