Ruling party AKP’s offer assuming presidency

Ruling party AKP’s offer assuming presidency

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Ruling party AKP’s offer assuming presidency

Opposition parties have not responded to the AKP’s proposal. DAILY NEWS photo

A proposal introduced by the ruling party to the Parliament’s Constitution Reconciliation Commission as part of debates on the “judiciary” section has clearly reflected its insistence to proceed in drafting a Constitution in line with its presidential system proposal, although this proposal has yet to be acknowledged by any of the three opposition parties.

The proposal regarding the judiciary gives broad authority to the president in electing members of the high courts and constitutes yet another step likely to infuriate the opposition. This will not be the first time that a presidential referral is made by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) on a chapter that is not directly related to the “executive” section. Since such referrals blocked the drafting of a number of articles in the past, this last one may add insult to injury for the opposition parties, all of whom have been favoring the parliamentary system.

According to the proposal, the president will elect seven members of the 22-seat Judges and Prosecutors Board; eight members of the 17-seat Constitutional Court; and one-fourth of the members of the “Court of Appeals or Court of Cassation,” a yet-to-be-established body that would replace the Council of State and the Supreme Court of Appeals.

Open annulment cases

The president will also have the authority to open annulment cases in the Constitutional Court.

As part of discussions on the “executive” section in November, the AKP suggested a “Turkified version of the U.S. executive system” for the country, preserving the unitary structure with a single Parliament and giving extraordinary authority to the president. Since November, the proposal has managed to cripple the ongoing work of Parliament’s Constitution Reconciliation Commission, with the opposition maintaining that the presidential system proposal, as well as every presidential referral, is aimed at consolidating prime minister’s absolute power over the country, as his ambitions for the presidency are known.

With the proposal on the judiciary, the AKP also made clear the borders of authorities of the Constitutional Court. According to proposal, legal annulment of the constitutional amendments in regard to their content will not be possible.