Parliamentary committee voting for ex-ministers postponed
ANKARADec 23, 2014 - 12:00 am GMT+3
Dec 23, 2014 12:00 am
Voting in the 14-member parliamentary committee investigating corruption allegations against four former ministers has been postponed to Jan. 5.
In May, the inquiry committee began a probe into corruption allegations against former Economy Minister Zafer Çağlayan, former Interior Minister Muammer Güler and former Urbanization Minister Erdoğan Bayraktar. The three officials resigned from their posts after an anti-graft probe was launched on Dec. 17, 2013, while EU Minister Egemen Bağış was later replaced in a Cabinet reshuffle.
It was postponed because the three ministers, excluding Bayraktar, objected to a report by Turkey's Financial Crimes Investigation Board on their assets, committee president, Hakkı Köylü, said late Monday.
The corruption inquiry committee is comprised of 14 members of Parliament from political parties represented in Parliament, except for the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), whose member withdrew from the committee in protest after a court gag order was imposed.
The ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) has nine members on the committee nine, the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) has four and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) has one.
A "yes" vote would leave the final decision to send the four former ministers to stand trial at the Constitutional Court.
The committee will issue a report on its findings to Parliament by Jan. 9 if votes say "yes." When the committee presents its report to Parliament, the lawmakers will vote by secret ballot at the General Assembly.
If the members of Parliament approve the report with an absolute majority of 276 votes in the 550-seat Parliament, then the four former ministers will be tried at the Constitutional Court.