Turkish gov't accelerates efforts to lift parliamentary immunities

Published 09.04.2016 00:00

With the lifting of parliamentary immunities still on the political agenda, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu during a joint press conference with Bosnian Prime Minister Denis Zvizdic on Thursday announced that he has given the order to officials to begin the process of lifting immunities immediately.

As Davutoğlu stressed the determination for the process starting, Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) Deputy Chairman Oktay Vural paid a visit to both the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) and the Republican Peoples Party (CHP) on Thursday to discuss the matter. During the visit to the AK Party, Vural presented four proposals that included dealing with immunity documents affiliated with terrorism at Parliament's Joint Commission on Constitutional Justice.

A recent survey by the ORC research company revealed that 93.5 percent of respondents were in favor of lifting Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) deputies' parliamentary immunities for committing, supporting or being affiliated with terrorism. Davutoğlu said: " [The AK Party government has] never taken a step back from fulfilling any of the promises we have made. In regard to [lifting of immunities], I have given the instructions to begin the process immediately." Vural presented the AK Party with four proposals firstly including dealing with immunity documents that are affiliated with terrorism at the Parliament's Joint Commission on Constitutional Justice, secondly exempting situations mentioned in the Constitution's Article 14 on immunity. The MHP's proposal included sending a summary of proceedings that are against the Justice Ministry's public mandate to the judiciary. The fourth MHP proposal tackles immunity documents that involve cases mentioned in Article 76 at the Joint Commission as well as Parliament. While both CHP and MHP representatives expressed a willingness to continue with the process, CHP Deputy Chairman Levent Gök expressed opposition to the AK party's proposal to lift parliamentary immunities.

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