MHP's Bahçeli: Only nation can disband parties

Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli has said political parties can only be expelled from political life by the nation itself.

MHP's Bahçeli: Only nation can disband parties
Bahçeli, speaking at his party's parliamentary group meeting yesterday, noted the case opened by a chief prosecutor for the closure of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) may drag the country into political turmoil and an atmosphere of chaos. "Only the Turkish nation can disband its political parties. The nation replies to politicians and political parties at ballot boxes," he said.

Supreme Court of Appeals Chief Prosecutor Abdurrahman Yalçınkaya applied to the Constitutional Court on March 14, demanding that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's governing AK Party be disbanded on the ground that it has become a hotbed of "anti-secular activities."

Bahçeli slammed Yalçınkaya's request during his speech, saying such a move dealt a serious blow to Turkish politics. "This case of closure will bring with it deep political consequences. Turkey, which has focused on the case opened to shut down the AK Party in the last few days, has entered a turbulent period. Such high tension in the society will deeply influence our state and public. We may even go through a political crisis. We may undergo an atmosphere of chaos whose consequences might be hard to handle," he noted.

Stressing that his party earlier suggested that Articles 68 and 69 of the Constitution -- which designate the principles on the foundation and dissolution of parties -- be amended to make the closure of political parties more difficult, Bahçeli said they presented their suggestion to the evaluation of the AK Party and the Republican People's Party (CHP). "But, an exemption should be applied to parties which act against the unitary regime with separatist activities," added Bahçeli, dropping hints that pro-Kurdish Democratic Society Party (DTP) should be excluded from the planned constitutional amendments.

Yalçınkaya had moved to disband the DTP last November, saying this party, which has 20 seats in Parliament, was the focal point of activities against the sovereignty of the state. The Constitutional Court agreed to hear that case but the date for the first hearing has not yet been set.

"All political parties are obliged to conduct their activities within the boundaries of the Constitution. But, it would be disrespectful to the law to make statements over a case pending at court," he added.

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Güncelleme Tarihi: 19 Mart 2008, 12:03