Turkish PM unveils roadmap for charter alliances

Turkish PM unveils roadmap for charter alliances

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Turkish PM unveils roadmap for charter alliances

Unveiling his alliance plans for the new charter, PM Erdoğan says his party will first seek consensus with the CHP and MHP, then the BDP if first bid fails. DAILY NEWS photo, Selahattin SÖNMEZ

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has clearly laid out his alternative plans for the process of creating the new Constitution, revealing his party will first request the help of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) as well as the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) if the charter panel’s work fails to bear fruit. Cooperating with the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) would be a last-ditch effort, Erdoğan said.

“If Parliament’s Constitution Reconciliation Commission fails to draft the proposal for a Constitution, we will open up our own proposal for discussion. Firstly, we would implement our plan B and seek consensus with the CHP and then with the MHP. If we cannot obtain a result, we would implement our plan C and seek the help of the BDP. When we reach 330 [parliamentary] votes, we would ask our nation’s consent for our draft,” Erdoğan said in an interview with Parlamento magazine.

A minimum of 330 votes is required for a constitutional change, while any motion accepted with between 330 and 367 votes goes directly to a referendum. The total number of seats occupied by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) is 326.

Erdoğan noted the four-party charter panel had discussed over 100 articles and has so far agreed upon one-third of those articles. “With this pace, it will take too much time to reach an agreement on a Constitution proposal. Turkey cannot tolerate wasting time [when it comes to the] new Constitution.”

Open-ended negotiations for the new charter are not possible, Erdoğan said. “At a time when Turkey urgently needs a new Constitution, delaying this process is not in the favor of the country or the nation. We are expecting concrete results regarding this issue,” the prime minister said.

However, Erdoğan stressed they will not be the first party to leave the negotiation table.

“A new Constitution is an opportunity for Turkey both to face its past and draw up a future vision.

Whoever misses this opportunity [will be accountable] before history; for this reason, the AK Party will not be the party leaving the table. This is not due to its political price, this is because of our responsibility to our children,” Erdoğan said.