World Bulletin/News Desk
A parliamentary commission tasked with drafting a new, civilian constitution has decided to convene on May 3 to discuss whether it will continue its work or stop its efforts to produce a draft.
The commission met on Tuesday evening to discuss whether to extend its deadline, which would otherwise be that day.
In late March, the commission was given an extra month to produce a draft of the new constitution. The commission convened at 7 p.m. on Tuesday to discuss its new plan and to decide whether or not to extend its timeline a third time.
The new constitution is being drafted by the parliamentary Constitutional Reconciliation Commission, which is made up of three members from each of the four political parties represented in Parliament.
The commission members differ greatly in their opinions on many topics, an issue which has made it difficult for them to complete the draft.
The Justice and Development Party (AK Party) commission members told the commission during Tuesday's meeting that it has already missed two deadlines and should not be given a third extension.
The Republican People's Party (CHP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) members, on the other hand, argue that the commission should be allowed to work until it completes the draft of the new constitution.
Parliament Speaker Cemil Çiçek, who is also head of the commission, heard these members' demands and asked them to talk them over with their parties and then the commission will convene on May 3 to discuss them again.
On May 3, the commission will decide whether to stop or carry on its work to draft the new constitution.
Çiçek spoke to reporters after the meeting and recalled that the Constitutional Reconciliation Commission has been working for a year already to produce the draft.
The commission was scheduled to complete its task by Dec. 31, 2012, but failed to keep to that schedule. It was then granted three additional months to produce the draft. That deadline expired on March 31. When the commission failed to conclude its work by the extended deadline, the AK Party said another month would be given to the commission.
The AK Party says the commission should speedily complete the draft, while the opposition parties do not support the idea that a limited amount of time be given to the commission and rather believe the commission should work freely until it produces a draft.
The existing constitution was drafted following martial law in 1982 after a bloody coup d'état two years earlier, in 1980. The document is often the focus of harsh criticism as it fails to provide for broad rights and freedoms.Last Mod: 01 Mayıs 2013, 17:27