CHP might vote in favor of constitutional amendment in 2nd round

Published 20.05.2016 00:00

Parliament is scheduled meet Friday for the second round voting on the bill that will lift the immunities of deputies facing criminal charges, with some opposition deputies who voted against the bill expected to reverse their position. Parliament on Tuesday approved the opening of the issue of parliamentary immunity for debate with 348 supporting, 155 opposing, eight abstentions and 25 blank votes. Still, more affirmative votes are needed in the second round to enforce the constitutional amendment concerning Parliamentary immunity.

According to Article 175 of the Constitution, 367 affirmative votes are needed in order to pass the law without holding a referendum. If the number of votes falls between 330 and 366, the decision to hold a referendum will then be up to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. The outcome of the first voting revealed that the Republican People's Party (CHP) voted against the bill, contradicting their previous statements about voting in favor. But the party's Central Executive Committee (MYK) meeting pointed out that the CHP might change its strategies. As the CHP voted against the bill together with the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), cooperative efforts between the CHP and HDP could be up for speculation. Also, considering the strengthened risk of a referendum, the CHP is now expected to change its vote to affirmative for the second round.

The second round of discussions will be held on Friday, as the majority of CHP members are expected to join the second vote. The Justice and Development Party (AK Party) currently has 316 and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) has 40 votes. If the AK Party and MHP all vote in favor of the bill, then 11 yes votes from the CHP will be enough to reach the number 367 and to pass the law without holding a referendum. As of Tuesday, the number of dossiers for the lifting of immunity has reached 667, in which 138 parliamentary deputies have dossiers drafted against them.

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