Uneasiness within AKP over corruption claims obvious, says opposition

Uneasiness within AKP over corruption claims obvious, says opposition

Uneasiness within AKP over corruption claims obvious, says opposition

MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli casts his vote during the parliamentary vote on whether to send four former ministers to court on corruption allegations. AA Photo

Opposition parties have said the results of the parliamentary vote acquitting four ex-ministers facing corruption charges showed a decline in confidence in the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and an internal uneasiness within the party over the allegations.

“Almost 40 deputies from the AKP have been feeling the same uneasiness that we have been feeling. This openly shows that there is a grave corruption case, contrary to what some circles within the AKP have been claiming” main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu told reporters while leaving parliament early on Jan. 21, after the lengthy voting session.

For his part, Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli said the government had "lost a vote of confidence."

“The government has lost a vote of confidence. It has fallen below 276. Only the minister formerly in charge of housing [Erdoğan Bayraktar] remained above the vote of confidence,” Bahçeli said after the session.

The MHP leader was pointing to the fact that the AKP, which has 312 seats in parliament, failed to secure 276 votes in each of the three votes cast for former Economy Minister Zafer Çağlayan, former EU Minister Egemen Bağış and former Interior Minister Muammer Güler. Former Environment and Urban Planning Minister Erdoğan Bayraktar was an exception, as 288 deputies voted against sending him to the Supreme Council.

Meanwhile, Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) co-leader Selahattin Demirtaş said the results displayed a “certain level of uneasiness within the AKP."

“Today, parliament missed an historic opportunity. If the path to the Supreme Council had been paved, then the issue of corruption and bribery claims would have been set on a healthy route and a legal process would have begun. But this is on the AKP deputies’ own heads,” Demirtaş said.

“Parliament didn’t play the role that falls on its shoulders. In the eyes of the world, Turkey has portrayed an image where the government puts pressure on parliament, where the system doesn’t operate democratically and where corruption is covered-up,” he added.

Kılıçdaroğlu struck a similar stance, lamenting the "weighty shadow" over parliament.

“There is a weighty shadow over parliament. We are annoyed at this, because parliament could have removed this doubt,” he said.