Parliament's Constitutional Committee to discuss post-coup reforms

MERVE AYDOĞAN @mgulaydogan
Published 17.08.2016 21:06

Parliament's Constitutional Committee met for is third meeting on Wednesday and announced that it will continue discussions regardless of the recess that Parliament plans to take next week. With efforts to eliminate the threat of the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) in the judiciary after the failed July 15 coup attempt, the second meeting of the committee on Tuesday with representatives from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party), main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) lasted for nearly five hours and 23 articles concerning the judiciary were addressed. In addition to the Constitution Committee, the Justice Committee and the Joint Committee will continue to work throughout the Parliament's recess and the Human Rights Committee, Petition Committee and the Equality of Opportunity for Men and Women Committee will operate when necessary during the recess.

As part of discussions on the omnibus bill that was approved by the Planning and Budget Committee, the General Assembly is set to convene on Friday, Saturday and Sunday until the daily programs are finalized. Parliament's Constitutional Committee will continue to work regardless of the planned recess as the three parties have previously decided to prepare a new constitutional package as part of the post-coup attempt meeting that was held on July 25 between President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım, CHP Chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu and MHP Chairman Devlet Bahçeli. The committee met to address 23 articles concerning the judiciary with unexpected discussions being raised regarding amendments to articles about the Supreme Court. It is still undecided whether the Grand Chamber will remain under the Constitutional Court (AYM) or the Supreme Court of Appeals and committee members will discuss it with party leaders and authorities.

While the second meeting of the committee addressed articles on the judiciary, yesterday's meeting primarily focused on the Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK). The three political parties involved have agreed on changing the method of electing HSYK members and they had also decided to split HSYK into the Supreme Board of Judges and the Supreme Board of Prosecutors. Along with these changes, the committee is also expected to address the changing the chain of command; with the Chief of General Staff and the National Intelligence Organization (MİT) to report directly to the presidency rather than to the Prime Ministry, reinstituting the death penalty, the Council of Higher Education (YÖK) and disbanding the National Security Council (MGK). The representatives from political parties will prepare a report on the committee's discussions and are expected to present it to party leaders next week.

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