Turkish Parliament approves whole reform package

Turkey's parliament voted in favour of the package as a whole for the constitutional amendment bill

 Turkish Parliament approves whole reform package

World Bulletin / News Desk

The Turkish parliament early on Friday adopted a constitutional amendment bill in the final voting of the package as a whole.

The package, except the rejected article 8th over the shut down of political parties and a related provisional article, was adopted by 336 votes in favor and 72 against.

The bill is set to be put on referendum in line with the Turkish constitution as separate articles of the bill and the whole package received votes more than 330 but less than 367.

A total of 31 secret votes held in the second round.

Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan says the reforms, overhauling the judiciary and making the army answerable to civilian courts, simply meet European Union entry demands.

"The reform package has been approved...Let it bring good things to our country," parliament speaker Mehmet Ali Sahin said after lawmakers passed the bill shortly after 2 a.m., ending a marathon session.

The bill, which makes changes to a constitution drafted after a 1980 military coup, passes to President Abdullah Gul for signature. Lacking the two-thirds majority to give it automatic effect, it must then go to a referendum the government wants to hold in July.

The amendment package will abolish the provisional article 15 of the constitution which does not allow trial of the members of the National Security Council formed after a coup in 1980.

The bill will also abolish the ban on right to general strike; paves the way for a citizen to become a member of more than one union, and the civil servants and other public officials the right to collective bargaining.

It also paves the way for trial of parliament speaker, chief of general staff, and senior commanders by the High Tribunal on charges of crimes they commit regarding their positions.

If the bill is to be put to referendum, it is expected to be voted as a whole.

The main opposition party has said it will appeal to the Constitutional Court to annul the amendments.

Last Mod: 07 Mayıs 2010, 13:17
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