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State of Emergency, judicial issues and electoral threshold top Constitutional Committee agenda

MERVE AYDOĞAN @mgulaydogan
ANKARA
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Parliament's Constitutional Committee representatives from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party), the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) met on Friday, as committee members continued to discuss the mini-constitution legislative package that sources indicate have the following topics topping the agenda: the judiciary, elections and the State of Emergency. They reached agreement on a total of seven points.

According to sources close to the committee, CHP members proposed establishing "Organizational Body Courts" to solely monitor and solve issues caused in bodies under institutions or organizations, while the court will also see trials on disputes caused in these organizational bodies. While the final document from the mini-constitution legislative package was expected to be finalized on Friday before Daily Sabah went to print, committee members will present the final report to each party leader for the final decision.

As the mini-constitution legislative package is to include about 10 articles, reportedly the CHP suggested that State of Emergency and statutory decrees must be open to judicial control, while they also reportedly suggested establishing a court that is solely in charge of disputes caused by incompatibilities among organizational bodies.

AK Party members initially proposed spreading three elections over a three-year period because of the critical period Turkey has seen since the July 15 failed coup attempt. Thus, the Constitutional Committee is working on several changes, including revising the dates of all upcoming elections and discussing the parliamentary election timetable every four years and proposing that elections be held every five years; sources close to the CHP also reported that CHP members propose dropping the electoral threshold to 3 percent from the current 10 percent. While the closure of the military court of appeals and military high administrative courts are reportedly the agreed articles amongst committee members, removing the gendarmerie forces from the National Security Council (MGK) is also agreed upon according to sources. Furthermore, the committee had initially discussed splitting the Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK) into the Supreme Board of Judges and the Supreme Board of Prosecutors, which was later waived.

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