Turkey starts debating reforms, first two articles accepted

Turkish parliament began debating the constitutional amendment package early on Tuesday.

Turkey starts debating reforms, first two articles accepted

Turkish parliament began debating the constitutional amendment package early on Tuesday.

After completing the discussions on proposals by political parties, General Assembly of the Turkish parliament debated Articles 1 & 2 of the constitutional package.

A total of 407 deputies attended the voting of Article 1. 336 deputies approved the article, while 70 objected and one vote was valid.

While discussing Article 2, 405 deputies cast votes, 337 of whom said "Yes" to the article, and 68 objected.

Members of Republican People's Party (CHP) and Democratic Left Party (DSP) did not cast votes, while Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) preferred to leave the hall during the voting process.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) chairperson were present at the meeting until the end of votings.

After voting the articles, Parliament Speaker Mehmet Ali Sahin closed the session until the next gathering at 3 p.m. on Tuesday.

"Debate on reforms"

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 last Tuesday (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 trade 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.


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Last Mod: 20 Nisan 2010, 10:55
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