Summary of proceedings against HDP co-leader at parliamentary commission

Summary of proceedings against HDP co-leader at parliamentary commission

Summary of proceedings against HDP co-leader at parliamentary commission

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The Turkish Prime Ministry has sent the national assembly the summaries of proceedings against eight members of parliament, four each from the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), in order for their legislative immunities to be lifted.

The Prime Ministry’s move came 10 days after receiving 12 summaries of proceedings, five of which were against HDP co-leader Selahattin Demirtaş, from the Justice Ministry on April 1, in an apparently accelerated process. As of April 11, the summaries of proceedings have already been referred to parliament’s Joint Constitution and Justice Commission, which is the authorized forum for debating MPs’ immunity. If the members of the commission give their consent, the cases will be sent to the general assembly for a vote, which may pave the way to trying the deputies in question.

“See, that is why we have been bringing the lifting of immunities to the agenda,” President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, meanwhile, said on April 11 in Istanbul, as some young people among the audience shouted: “We don’t want a murderer in parliament.” 

“When ‘lifting immunities’ is said, they understand something like ‘let’s allow the immunities of lawmakers to be lifted.’ This is not the essence of the matter. It means that whoever has a summary of proceedings [against them] the process regarding that summary of proceedings will be immediately carried to the judiciary. If you commit a crime, you will be tried,” Erdoğan said as he was delivering a speech at a convention on urban transformation.

“You will carry weapons to the terror organization in your car, you will carry weapons in coffins, and then…” Erdoğan said, in an apparent reference to allegations about deputies of the Kurdish problem-focused HDP, which he and the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government accuse of being a political front for the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

“The main opposition [Republican People’s Party] is at the moment going into a song and dance about it. The other [opposition parties] are going into a song and dance about it,” he said.

“Here, in my opinion, politics should not constitute a barrier in front of these summaries of proceedings; the way for this should be paved. To where? The judiciary. Let the judiciary do what is required,” he added.

In Ankara, the AKP parliamentary group started on April 7 collecting the signatures required to propose a constitutional amendment which was first made public by Davutoğlu on March 17. 

According to the original proposal, a provision of Article 83 of the constitution which states, “A deputy who is alleged to have committed an offence before or after election shall not be detained, interrogated, arrested or tried unless the general assembly decides otherwise,” will not be applied for the current files as soon as a temporary constitutional amendment goes into force. Accordingly, after the amendment goes into force, all files of summaries of proceedings waiting at parliament, which number more than 500, without making any distinction between any parties, will be returned to the Prime Minister’s Office within 15 days in order to be sent to the judicial authorities.