Turkey halts talks on reforms over holiday, 11 articles adopted

Turkish parliament has halted amendment talks for 1 day after 11 articles of reforms were adopted late on Thursday.

Turkey halts talks on reforms over holiday, 11 articles adopted

Turkish parliament has on Friday halted amendment talks for 1 day to mark the 90th anniversary of the 23rd April National Sovereignty and Children’s Day.

The Parliament adopted article 11 of a constitutional amendment package late on Thursday.

The article 11 foresees that those who would be elected to the Assembly's Council Chairmanship for the first time would stay in office for two years and second-term members of the Council Chairmanship would stay in office until the end of the period.

The article was adopted with 338 against 70 votes, while one invalid during the voting joined by 409 deputies.

Approved articles

Among the articles passed is the one that changes the closure cases to be opened against parties.

Articles VI, VII and VIII of the constitutional amendment were passed with just above 330 votes in favour. With the changes, Parliament will decide whether to open up a closure case against a political party.

Accordingly, in line with a request from the Court of Appeals Republican Prosecutor, each Party with a group in Parliament will be represented in a commission by 5 members each.

Closure cases will be possible only with 2/3rds majority of the commission members. Bans from politics will be reduced from 5 years to 3.

Parliament Speaker will preside over the Commission but will not vote. Opinions mentioned in Parliament, actions of the administration will not be used in determining a focal point in Party closures

Financial inspections of political parties will be carried out by the Court of Account and not the Constitutional Court. Civil servants will be able to carry out collective agreements, and limitations on strikes and lock-outs will be lifted.

Talks on the reform package continued with the Article IX. Under the move passed with 334 votes in favor, the clause “All individuals have the right to receive information and apply for public auditing” will be added to the constitution.

An auditing body known as “the Ombudsmanship” will be established under the Assembly Chairmanship. The institution will hear complaints about administrative operations.

Under the Article X, which was adopted by 335 votes, members of the parliament who cause closure of their party will retain the MP capacity.

"Reform process"

The parliament will continue discussing the bill without interruption, except April 23, when the parliament will convene for a special session to mark the Children's and National Sovereignty Day.

The Constitutional Committee of the Turkish parliament adopted on April 13 the constitutional amendment bill with some changes.

The bill is comprised of 27 articles.

The Parliamentary General Assembly debates constitutional amendment bills in two rounds.

In the first round, the parliament holds a secret vote on each article after speeches on the bill and its articles.

Therefore, the parliament will hold 30 secret ballots on this bill in the first round, including the whole of the bill, and 27 articles, one of which covers three provisional articles.

According to parliament by-laws, the second round can start at least 48 hours after the first-round ends.

There will be no speeches in the second round, however MPs can speak on motions if motions are submitted on articles of the constitutional amendment bill.

Thirty secret ballots will also be held in the second round.

The bill can be adopted only by secret votes of three-fifth majority of the parliament, which is equal to votes of 330 MPs.

The president can veto the constitutional amendment bills, and send them back to the parliament for a review.

If the parliament re-adopts the vetoed bill with two-thirds majority of the parliament (equals to 367 votes), the president can call for a referendum.

If the bill is adopted by votes below 367 and if it is not vetoed by the president, it will be published in the Official Gazette to be put to referendum.

According to the Constitution, the president can call for a referendum on constitutional amendment bills or their articles, adopted by two-thirds of majority of the parliament, directly or if s/he vetoes them.

The constitutional amendment bills or their articles which are not put to referendum are published in the Official Gazette.

On March 30, Turkish government made public its new constitutional amendment bill, comprised of 27 articles. It envisages amendments to the structure of the Constitutional Court and the Supreme Council of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK), and closure of political parties.

It will abolish the provisional article 15 of the constitution which does not allow trial of the members of the Council of National Security formed after the military intervention on September 12, 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 will be voted as a whole.


Last Mod: 23 Nisan 2010, 14:50
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