Legal expert offers innovative formula against closure risk

A legal expert who helped draft the civilian constitution has produced an innovative solution to save the ruling AK Party from closure by an indictment filed against it recently.

Legal expert offers innovative formula against closure risk
A legal expert who helped draft the civilian constitution has produced an innovative solution to save the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) from closure by an indictment filed against it recently.

Professor Yavuz Atar of Konya's Selçuk University participated in the "Görüş Farkı" (Difference of Opinion) television program hosted by journalist Ömer ?ahin on the private Kanal A television station last night. Pointing out that other methods currently being evaluated by the AK Party to avoid its closure, such as amending the Constitution and holding a referendum, all have a "risk" factor, the professor revealed his "magic formula": If the AK Party dissolves itself, then the closure case will be closed, the risk of political ban avoided and the government will go on its way.

Atar was a member of the commission of academics chaired by Professor Ergun Özbudun that drafted a civilian constitution sponsored by the government in September 2007. Atar asserted that the AK Party needs a permanent and definite solution to avoid the risk of being closed down. Recalling the 367 case last year wherein the Constitutional Court cancelled the presidential election due to the lack of a quorum of 367 deputies during parliamentary voting, Atar suggested that constitutional amendments and an ensuing referendum would not be a "guaranteed" maneuver against the closure case and that therefore the AK Party should engage in a bit of self-sacrifice for the sake of political and economic stability. Atar's formula essentially consists of the AK Party's self-dissolution under a provision of the Law on Political Parties. The provision, however, does not legislate for the event of a party electing to close down after a closure case has been opened against it. According to the professor's formula, the closure case would logically end in such an instance and a new party could be established in place of the AK Party -- and the government would continue along with its work without being affected by the change.

Fear of not getting expected support from deputies

Meanwhile, the AK Party management is trying take the pulse of its deputies toward constitutional amendments to apply tighter requirements for party closures. Some AK Party deputies are cool toward amendments, fearing that they might serve to raise tensions, while other deputies suggest that whatever is needed should be done.

The party's management has been holding meetings for the past three days, which have been attended by Deputy Prime Minister Cemil Çiçek, deputy party chairmen and the deputy chairmen of the party's parliamentary group. The party management stresses that the closure case is a politically oriented one and is seeking views of the deputies. After these meetings end today, the deputy chairmen of the parliamentary group will submit a report on possible dissenting deputies and overall tendency to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. When the AK Party will introduce the constitutional amendments will be decided in the meetings to be held with Erdoğan. Supreme Court of Appeals Chief Prosecutor Abdurrahman Yalçınkaya filed an indictment on March 14 at the Constitutional Court requesting the closure of the AK Party on charges of its "being a focal point of anti-secularist activities."

AK Party management is planning to hold a final meeting with the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) to discuss possible constitutional amendments to make party closures more difficult and depending on the outcome of this meeting, to introduce the constitutional amendments to Parliament. At least 330 deputies must vote yes on constitutional amendments.

Today's Zaman
Last Mod: 28 Mart 2008, 07:51
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