Ruling AKP finds only two out of 18 opposition deputies eligible for graft commission
AA PhotoThe outcome of a study by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) is likely to further delay the establishment of a parliamentary commission into graft allegations against four former ministers, as it has found only two opposition deputies eligible for the commission.
On May 5, Parliament voted to set up the inquiry commission to investigate alleged corruption in a 453-9 vote. At the time, critics had warned that the AKP would use its parliamentary majority to dictate the outcome of the probe.
After the vote, the AKP conducted work to screen all remarks delivered by opposition lawmakers concerning the graft probe, relying on an article of Parliament’s internal regulations and arguing that all lawmakers who have publically expressed an opinion about the allegations cannot be member to the inquiry commission.
Accordingly, 70 AKP deputies who applied for membership of the commission are identified as having not spoken about the probe, or having not made statements that would be an obstacle to meeting the membership criteria, Anadolu Agency reported on May 26.
In contrast, only two of the 18 opposition deputies who applied for membership met the criteria: Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Mersin deputy İsa Gök and Peoples’ Democracy Party (HDP) Şanlıurfa deputy İbrahim Ayhan.
The opposition parties have already filed their lists of candidates for the commission to the Parliament Speaker’s Office, while the AKP has yet to file its final list. The eventual decision on whether the applicants meet the necessary criteria will be made by the Parliament Speaker’s Office.
The four political parties present in Parliament will be represented on the commission according to the proportionate number of seats they hold in the legislature. Thus, the ruling AKP will hold a majority at the 15-member commission. While the government will be represented by nine deputies, the opposition parties will be represented by six deputies in total. Once they have been vetted by the Parliament Speaker’s Office, all parties will nominate the final names of possible commission members, which will be three times higher than the number of deputies that will eventually be included in the commission. Lots will then be cast to identify the final members of the commission.