Premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan is confident that the constitutional amendment package will pass the threshold for referendum, in the voting of the entirety of the package scheduled for Thursday.
Turkey's parliament voted early on Thursday in favour of an article restructuring a key judicial body, giving a fresh boost to the government's constitutional reform moves after an early setback.
Erdogan told reporters following Thursday's group meeting of the Justice and Development (AK) Party, that the referendum campaign was ready and all other preparations were completed.
MPs on Monday rejected an article making political party bans harder in a blow to Erdogan, who says the reforms bring Turkey closer to EU standards.
However, the article 17 and 23, the two other key articles on HSYK and Constitutional Court passed the required threshold in the second round voting.
With the voting on the entirety of the package, the most critical voting of the two rounds, yet to come, main opposition Republican People's Party -- which had already announced it would carry the package to the Constitutional Court for cancellation-- forged an alliance with Democratic Left Party (DSP), to collect enough signatures to appeal to the court.
CHP holds 97 seats in the parliament while DSP holds 6 seats. Two parties fall seven signatures short for a cancellation petition, but CHP said earlier that it was confident to collect the required signatures.
AK party holds 335 seats and the final vote is set for Thursday evening.
"Bad surprise in referendum"
CHP Leader Deniz Baykal told reporters at the CHP HQs in Ankara earlier today that the government was "in panic" of a Constitutional Court cancellation, adding that if that obstacle was out of the way, it would start panicking with fear of the will of the people and rejection in referendum.
"Either at courts, or in referendum through the people's votes, I am confident that the nation will give the necessary answer. I have full confidence in both," said Baykal.
Baykal said the government's expectancy to get the desired results was "unfounded" adding that a bad surprise was waiting them in the referendum.
The articles and entirety of the bill needs to receive over 367 of the votes in order to be adopted. If it receives somewhere between 330 and 367 it will be put to referendum. If any of the articles receive less then 330 it will automatically rejected. If during the voting of the package as a whole it receives less then 330 it will be rejected. AK Party hold 337 seats in the parliament. However the parliament speakers are not allowed to vote in the parliament which reduces potential votes in favour of the bill to 336.
The main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) boycotted the voting while second opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) declared they would enter but cast votes against the package.
Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) which also criticised the amendment boycotted the voting in the first round.
The government bill proposes amendments to 26 articles of the Constitution, including the articles 10, 20, 23, 41, 51, 53, 54, 69, 74, 84, 94, 125, 128, 129, 144, 145, 146, 147, 148, 149, 156, 159 and 166 and the provisional article 15.
It 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.
Related news reports:Last Mod: 06 Mayıs 2010, 15:52