Gov't to present bills vetoed by Sezer for Gül's approval

With the election of Abdullah Gül as the 11th president of the Turkish republic, the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) has found an opportunity to compensate for the damage done by the incompatibility of the government with former President

Gov't to present bills vetoed by Sezer for Gül's approval
With the election of Abdullah Gül as the 11th president of the Turkish republic, the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) has found an opportunity to compensate for the damage done by the incompatibility of the government with former President Ahmet Necdet Sezer.

The AK Party will now face no obstacles in passing the bills which previously vetoed by Sezer in the 22nd legislative term of Parliament. Among these vetoed bills is the constitutional amendment known as 2B, which would allow the sale of former forest land that the ruling AK Party sees as a source as much as $25 billion income. The government argued that the passage of this bill would make the Turkish economy more resistant to external shocks.

The bill on foundations, which allows for the returning of previously confiscated property of minority foundations; the ombudsman bill; the public administration bill; the oil bill; the bill on the Higher Education Board (YÖK); and the bill on local administration are also among those the AK Party is expecting to pass in the new president's term.

The AK Party's parliamentary group decided to rush these bills to the agenda of Parliament immediately after Gül's election as President. The AK Party plans to keep Parliament open until Oct. 1 after the government is established. The official opening of Parliament was originally scheduled for Oct. 1, but the AK Party will use this extra time for the passage of the previously vetoed bills, particularly those on the Court of Accounts, on foundations and on the ombudsman, taking into consideration the EU Progress Report to be published on Oct. 21.

Sezer vetoed 60 bills between Oct. 28, 2002, when the AK Party government took office, and June 15, 2007. Of these vetoed 49 were sent back to the president for approval, thereby overriding his veto. However, the most critical bills could not be passed due to Sezer's vetoes. Sezer also took 21 laws, which were passed by overriding his veto, to the Constitutional Court. Out of the 60 vetoed bills, 10 were shelved by the AK Party for future reconsideration while 50 bills were made into laws by overriding the presidential veto. These figures are enough to show that Sezer and the AK Party had an incompatible union in the 22nd legislative term.

AK Party Deputy Chairman Dengir Mir Mehmet Fırat, speaking to Today's Zaman, said: "Mr. Sezer worked more as a leader of an opposition party than a president. He exerted great efforts to obstruct our success. Sezer's wrath is not restricted to our government as he led to the destruction of the former government. The Constitution booklet which he threw at [the late Prime Minister Bülent] Ecevit led to a crisis in which Turkey lost about $17 billion overnight. He also prevented Turkey making use of the $25 billion income we expected to obtain from 2B."

Parliament adopted 582 bills, excluding international conventions, in the 22nd legislative term while only 511 were made into laws. Almost all of the bills vetoed by Sezer were vetoed on grounds of unconstitutionality. Only the bill on Insertion of a Provisional Article to the Decree Having the Power of Law on Establishment and Duties of the Undersecretariat for Customs was vetoed due to material errors. Sezer also vetoed the bill on ombudsman which would be newly introduced to Turkish legal system. Sezer had justified his veto, maintaining that the Constitution does not contain the definition of an ombudsman.

CHP and Sezer competed in opposition

Sezer was not alone in his crusade against the AK Party's legislation attempts. The main opposition party Republican People's Party (CHP), too, referred many laws enacted by the AK Party to the Constitutional Court. In total, the CHP took 103 laws to the court for cancellation.

According to a report prepared by senior AK Party executives concerning the legislation activities in the 22nd legislative term, one in every 10 bills was vetoed by the president and in every 25 bills was taken by the president to the Constitutional Court for cancellation. Meanwhile the CHP took around one in every five bills to the Constitutional Court.

The bills vetoed by Sezer include several bills that will have an immediate effect on the daily lives of people, such as the bill providing free education at private education institutions for successful students who lacking adequate financial resources.

The new president's term is anxiously awaited, not only by the AK Party, but also the 355 top bureaucrats whose appointment decrees were vetoed by Sezer. These 355 bureaucrats, who currently fulfill their duties through proxy, will be appointed properly after Gül becomes president. These bureaucrats include 15 new ambassadors as well as those who ran for Parliament after losing their hope of being appointed to their offices.

Today's Zaman
Last Mod: 29 Ağustos 2007, 18:28
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