Turkish Parliament Faces Deadline on Draft Constitution

“The sun is about to set, we need to make a decision before it gets dark,” Cemil Cicek, speaker of the Turkish Parliament and member of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) said today [May 3], as the Erdogan government’s patience runs thin in trying to persuade the members of the parliament’s Constitution Reconciliation Commission (CRC) to forge a new contract between the state and the citizens — as the AKP sees fit.

The 12 CRC members started their work to draft a new constitution in May 2012. This historic parliamentary commission is composed of three deputies from each elected party — AKP, Republican People’s Party (CHP), Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP).

While they have been able to reach consensus on 39 articles so far, the number of articles disagreed on far exceed that. The opposition claims that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s desire to change the parliamentary system into a presidential one has emerged as a stumbling bloc in their negotiations. The AKP side suggests that they are not really insisting on this issue, but could also propose a semi-presidential system, Turkish-style.

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Categories: Al-Monitor