Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu attended the International Investors Association's (YASED) reception late Wednesday where he urged the opposition parties in Parliament to support the government's efforts to draft a new constitution and help the necessary regulations that need to pass through Parliament for the visa liberalization process that is being held with the European Union. Following the recent summit between Turkey and the EU in Brussels, a draft proposal planning to lift the visa restrictions on Turkish citizens by the end of June and send an extra 3 billion euros in funds to help the refugees in Turkey has been reported. Davutoğlu said, "There is need for support from the opposition for the visa liberalization, or at least they should not hinder it. The visa liberalization has been a dream for 50-60 years."
Reiterating that the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) has fulfilled 82 percent of its pledges and 50 percent of the reforms, the prime minister underlined that the necessity of reforms. Continuing on with the visa liberalization, Davutoğlu said that there are legislative regulations needed by May 1 for the agreement between Turkey and the EU to be finalized. "I want to call upon the leaders of opposition parties once more. The legislative regulations must pass Parliament by May 1 for the EU's own process to finalize the visa liberation by June," he added. Underlining that the ruling AK Party could pass the necessary bills with 317 deputies, Davutoğlu urged the opposition parties not to block Parliament and pass the bills.
Addressing a joint news conference alongside his Guinean counterpart Alpha Conde on March 3 in the Guinean capital of Conakry, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan pointed out that the AK Party, which has 317 seats in the Parliament, had only three deputies in the Committee while 313 of the deputies were being represented by nine MPs in the committee and that the current structure of the Committee was not equitable. On February 16, the Republican People's Party (CHP) left the Constitution Conciliation Committee at the committee's third meeting due to the debate on switching to a presidential system. CHP committee members left the table when members from the AK Party broached the subject of a presidential system. A Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) committee member told Reuters that they will not be participating in the committee if the CHP is not a part of it.
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