Turkish Parliament to re-convene with busy agenda
The Turkish Parliament is set to re-convene on June 2 after nearly a 45-day break with a busy agenda, as the country has lifted many of the restrictions imposed in a bid to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Parliament went on a recess on April 16 after an intense legislative campaign on issues related to Turkey’s fight against COVID-19 as well as its economic impacts. The legislative activities will be held under strict safeguards imposed by the office of the parliament speaker and parliament will be closed to visitors until the end of June.
A draft bill on the duties and responsibilities of watchmen will be the first legislation the lawmakers will discuss at the General Assembly. In the meantime, the third judicial reform package will be brought to a panel in parliament before it is submitted to the General Assembly.
Parliament’s agenda is expected to be overwhelmed in the coming weeks as the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and its main political ally, the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) are working on a draft bill to overhaul the structures and regulations of certain associations and chambers. This includes the Turkish Bar Association, provincial bar associations and chambers of engineers and architects among others.
A legislative road map about these regulations will be discussed at the AKP’s central decision-making body that will be gathered under the leadership of chair and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on June 3.
Amendments on key laws
The AKP and the MHP are also mulling introducing a set of new amendments regarding some key laws, namely the Law on Political Parties, the Election Law and Law on Political Ethics. Although AKP officials confirm an ongoing brainstorming about these amendments, they underline that there is no concrete draft to move forward in parliament. AKP and MHP officials will continue to work on the scope and the content of the package in the coming weeks.
This is considered a move to prevent the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) from lending their MPs to new political parties so they can run in upcoming elections. These amendments would also result in the transfer of the CHP’s shares at lender İş Bankası to the Treasury through a provision that bans political parties from owning shares at financial institutions.
Omnibus bill on economy
The same period will observe an introduction of a 20-article omnibus bill that will cover new economic moves and regulations. The draft bill intends to contain regulations to pave the way for the digitalization of the loan applications, factoring services and financial leasing.
Parliament will elect speaker
Another item on the parliamentary agenda is the election of a parliament speaker. Current Parliament Speaker Mustafa Şentop will fulfill his two-year term in early June with a chance to be re-elected for another two years. The elections will take place between July 2 and July 12.