AK Party signals a policy shift in efforts to prevent closure

AK Party considers a formula to change the political parties law, not the Constitution, to revive the "warning mechanism" in such cases according to Turkish daily's report.

AK Party signals a policy shift in efforts to prevent closure
Turkey's ruling AK Party is expected to decide which formula it will pursue to prevent any closure decision next week.

AK Party discussed a formula to change the political parties law, not the Constitution, to revive the "warning mechanism" in such cases according to Turkish daily Hürriyet.

Following the AK Party Central Executive Board meeting held on Tuesday, Deputy Chairman Dengir Mir Mehmet Firat told reporters that the technical details of the process will be decided on Monday.

Firat also underlined the importance of unity, democracy and rule of law in the process of overcoming the tensions. Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan also told his party on Tuesday they should remain "cool-nerved" during the process.

Turkey's chief prosecutor, Abdurrahman Yalcinkaya, filed a lawsuit against the ruling AK Party on March 14 demanding its closure and the banning of 71 party officials, including Erdogan and President Abdullah Gul, from politics.

The lawsuit raised political tensions, creating concerns of prolonged uncertainty and blows to the financial markets.

Observers say the AKP's recent messages signal a policy shift within the party regarding the process. The AK Party is considering withdrawing its plans to take its planned constitutional amendments to referandum.

The report said that AK Party officials discussed an alternative formula that rules out a possible referandum in Tuesday's meeting. According to the report the AK Party's formula plans to revise the warning mechanism, used as a benchmark in closing a political party, by amending the political parties law not the Consitution.

The AK Party was reportedly working on a formula to amend the Constitution to prevent a closure decision, and planning to take the package to referandum.

PM Erdogan and other AK Party officials slammed the prosecutor's move saying it would harm democracy, envisaging a formula to make a constitutional amendment making it more difficult to ban political parties.

Legal experts are divided on whether such an amendment would help the AKP fight an eventual ban, some claiming the Constitution forbids Parliament from debating or ruling on issues undergoing judicial process.
Last Mod: 02 Nisan 2008, 13:04
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