Turkish PM refutes decision made to suspend transparency program

Turkish PM refutes decision made to suspend transparency program

Turkish PM refutes decision made to suspend transparency program

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Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu has dismissed claims the “Program for Transparency in Public Administration” package was suspended until after the general election, saying there was no “decision” made by the government to postpone the package, and they would try to adopt it in this legislative year.

“There is no will or decision to postpone until after the elections,” Davutoğlu said on Feb. 7.

As the general election approaches, the government is trying to accelerate all processes during the legislative year, Davutoğlu said, but he noted the difficulty in projecting the timeline of those processes.
However, he said a decision to delay the transparency program had not been made, and the government would carry on its “normal progress.”

“We never suspended any declared reform. Reforms and legislative work continue on their routine processes,” he said, adding that he found media reports on the situation odd.

The package would pass during this legislative year if the government is able to bring it about in a timely manner, he stated.

“If we can’t bring it in a timely way, then we’ll continue work as soon as possible with consultations. But our perspective now is to put it place during this legislative year,” he noted.

The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) postponed the passage of a new transparency package until the post-election era after President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan intervened, the daily Hürriyet reported on Feb. 6, in a move that served as fresh evidence of a disagreement between the prime minister and the president.

The decision to postpone the implementation of the package was reportedly made during a meeting of the AKP’s central decision-making body on Feb. 3, only two weeks after Prime Minister Davutoğlu disclosed the contents of the package. 

“It was obvious that there was not sufficient time for the legislation of the package,” Customs and Trade Minister Nurettin Canikli said, confirming the decision made by the AKP on Feb. 6. According to Canikli, the decision for the postponement is not about the content, but rather because parliament will go on recess in a few months, before the June elections.

Just a day after Davutoğlu had outlined the “Program for Transparency in Public Administration” package, Erdoğan reportedly held a private meeting with AKP members in the absence of the prime minister, during which he dished out harsh criticism about the party’s policies, including the transparency package.

“We have already realized some of the regulations that were revealed with the transparency package with the prime ministerial notice we published in 2010,” Erdoğan reportedly said at that meeting. “The timing and content of such a regulation is very important; I don’t find it correct before an election,” he added.

Davutoğlu’s transparency package included compulsory asset declaration for deputy parliamentary group chairs, executives at the headquarters of political parties, provincial and district-level political party executives and executives of radio and television channels which broadcast to a national, regional or local area. The president and the members of the top courts, as well as the heads of chambers of these courts, will also be accountable for asset declaration, which they will file to the Parliament Speaker’s Office.