President vetoes disputed bill hiking deputy pensions
President Gül (L) holds talks with Speaker Çiçek on a bill increasing MPs’ pensions. AA photoPresident Abdullah Gül partially vetoed a bill yesterday increasing lawmakers’ pensions on the grounds that the rise damaged public sensitivities.
The announcement came after Gül invited Parliamentary Speaker Cemil Çiçek to the presidency to talk on the matter.
“The reason for the hike could not be understood,” a presidential statement released late yesterday said.
The bill, which will be revisited after the opening of the Parliament in early January, raised MPs’ pensions from 4,980 to around 8,000 Turkish Liras a month.
The rise caused uproar among the oppositional parties although some of their deputies had also backed the rise. Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, the leader of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), sent a letter to Gül asking him to return the bill to Parliament for revision. Devlet Bahçeli, leader of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), echoed Kılıçdaroğlu’s calls.
“Although the legislative body has the discretionary power in deciding such rises, it was observed that this high rise in pensions for eight years term caused unease among the public,” said the statement.
Earlier this month, Gül vetoed a bill reducing the penalties for match fixers, subsequently causing limited tension between him and the government, which had strongly backed the amendments.
Gül approved the amendments after they were resent to him unchanged.