Turkish parliament to start discussing lifting deputies' immunity
by Daily Sabah
ANKARAMay 17, 2016 - 12:00 am GMT+3
by Daily Sabah
May 17, 2016 12:00 am
Parliament will begin discussing the Justice and Development Party's (AK Party) proposal to lift parliamentary immunities this week. The first round of discussions will take place Tuesday, while the second round of discussions will be held on May 20, in adherence to regulations that the second discussion cannot be held within the first 48 hours following the first.
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. A total of 51 dossiers were drafted against deputies from the Republican People's Party (CHP), 50 against deputies from the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), 27 from the Justice and Development Party (AK Party), 9 from the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and 1 dossier against an independent deputy.
All of them face the potential lifting of parliamentary immunity, with many other deputies having multiple cases opened against them. According to Article 175 of the Turkish Constitution, 367 affirmative votes are needed in order to enforce the decision without holding a referendum. If that number falls between 330 and 366 votes, the decision to hold a referendum will then be up to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
The AK Party currently has 316 votes and needs support from the opposing parties. The co-chairman of the pro-PKK HDP, Selahattin Demirtaş, has the highest number of complaints against him in Parliament with 75 dossiers, including requests for the lifting of immunity on the grounds that Demirtaş's statements supported the PKK terrorist organization. Also, in July, HDP deputy Faysal Sarıyıldız was accused of supplying arms to the PKK.