Turkish top court sets date for fate of reforms

The secular-minded court has struck down several key AK Party reforms in the past.

Turkish top court sets date for fate of reforms

Turkey's Constitutional Court will start discussing Main Opposition's appeal for cancellation of the goverment-backed constitutional amendment package, on June 3.

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

The court will initially make a procedural assessment of the file on Thursday. It will later set a date to start discussing the case on the merits.

The package which brings amendments to the structure of the Constitutional Court and the Supreme Council of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK), won more than 330 votes in the parliament on May 7 (except one article), enough for Government to carry it to referendum.

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

The law is set to be put to referendum on September 12 on the reforms and relevant amendments.

The secular-minded court has struck down several key AK Party reforms in the past.

Erdogan, who faces elections set for 2011, has said he will not call a snap election in the event the court annuls the referendum.

Last weekend, the secularist opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) formally jetisoned its hardline leader Deniz Baykal, rejected by voters in 2002 and 2007 polls, and elected former civil servant Kemal Kilicdaroglu in his place.

CHP party which is sceptical of the law as it fears it would erode the independence of the judiciary, opposed the amendments from the beginning.

Shortly after the adoption of the package CHP filed an appeal with the Constitutional Court on Friday for the cancellation of the amendment package.

The petition was signed by 97 CHP deputies, 7 independent deputies, 6 deputies from the Democratic Left Party (DSP) and 1 deputy from the Democrat Party (DP).

CHP also argues that with 26 articles put to vote as a package, rises the question of non-separability of preferences of voters, as they are expected to vote "yes" or "no" to the
whole package.

It criticises the voting of the package as a whole arguing that all articles should be put to vote separately.

Second opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) accuses the government of attempting to politicize the judiciary and subordinate the judiciary to the executive branch.


Agencies

Last Mod: 28 Mayıs 2010, 17:14
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