New constitution to be submitted in the Turkish Parliament in June

DAILY SABAH
ANKARA
Published 23.04.2016 00:54

As Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said in late March, the government is working to finalize the ruling Justice and Development Party's (AK Party) new constitution proposal, aiming to announce the draft soon. Chairman of the Parliamentary Constitution Committee, Mustafa Şentop, told media members at Parliament on Thursday that there have been no changes in the AK Party's approach to the establishment of a new constitution, which he said would be proposed to Parliament in June. Şentop said: "Our work is continuing. The AK Party's working group is currently working on composing a part of it while the remaining sections are to begin soon." Following the disappointment of the Constitution Conciliation Committee, which included all four parties in Parliament, the AK Party began to form its own committee to prepare a draft constitution.

Şentop reiterated Davutoğlu's recent remarks that preparing a new constitution must proceed slowly. He clarified the statement saying that it means not to rush the process, thereby allowing the public to voice its opinions. "There is a composing phase in formulating a constitution and then assessment of public opinion afterward, taking into consideration the feedback we receive. However, we believe that this process should not cause major delays in its introducing," he added. He affirming that the AK Party's work preparing a new constitution continues apace and announced that it will be proposed to Parliament within the month of June. Touching on recent discussions on lifting parliamentary immunity for deputies, Şentop said that the amendment is to be addressed at the General Assembly next week, which is very likely to be on Wednesday or Thursday.

The current Constitution was drafted after the Sept. 12, 1980 coup and creates a variety of impediments to legislation. For this reason, the political parties in Parliament had already agreed on 60 articles of a new constitution in a previous iteration of the committee during the 24th legislative session. Due to the precedent set during the previous commission, the AK Party administration had set a six-month time limit for the meetings to avoid deadlock.

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