President Erdoğan expected to approve immunity bill today

ELIF PETEK SAMATYALI
ANKARA
Published 07.06.2016 00:09

Following the Constitutional Court's rejection of petitions filed by the Republican People's Party (CHP) and members of the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) calling for the annulment of a law that allows lifting of deputies' legal immunity, all eyes are now on President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who is expected to approve the law at latest by Tuesday, as the 15-day legal term ends.

After President Erdoğan's approval, the decision will be published in the official Gazette and will come into effect immediately. Within the 15 days following the announcement, the dossiers situated in Parliament, the Prime Ministry and the Ministry of Justice will be sent to the assigned prosecution offices.

Thus, many deputies including HDP Co-Chair Selahattin Demirtaş and CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu will be interrogated and put on trial just like ordinary citizens.

As of May 15, the number of dossiers for the lifting of immunity reached 667, and 138 parliamentary deputies have dossiers drafted against them. A total of 51 dossiers were drafted on CHP deputies, 50 on HDP deputies, 27 on the Justice and Development Party (AK Party), nine on the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and one for the independent deputy Aylin Nazlıaka. A total of 405 dossiers were drafted against deputies from the HDP, 192 from the CHP, 46 from the AK Party, 20 from the MHP and five dossiers against the independent deputy Nazlıaka.

A total of 216 of the dossiers were filed concerning terror crimes, in addition to 201 dossiers on libel offenses. Additionally, 11 dossiers for bodily injury, 38 for work crime, and six for forgery and 18 for making threats. Eleven more dossiers were filed for violation of confidentiality, 55 for praising crime and/or criminals, 54 for goading the public to hostility and 119 dossiers for opposing the law on meetings and demonstrations. In the final vote on the bill, 376 deputies out of the chamber's 550 seats approved the bill, 140 were against, five abstained, seven were declared invalid and three were empty. The first clause of the bill to remove deputies' immunities passed with 373 votes, and the second clause saw 374 deputies voting in favor. The bill was presented to President Erdoğan for his final approval without holding a referendum, as the 367-vote threshold was passed on May 20.

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