World Bulletin/News Desk
A parliamentary commission assigned to draft a new constitution has agreed to carry on its work until the end of June to be able to finish writing the draft.
The Constitutional Reconciliation Commission met on Tuesday evening to discuss whether it will continue its work or stop its efforts to produce a draft. The meeting lasted for two hours. Justice and Development Party (AK Party) deputy Mehmet Ali Şahin, who is among the members of the commission, spoke to reporters after the meeting and said the commission will continue working on the draft until the end of June. When asked what will happen if the commission fails to produce a draft by that time, Şahin said, “Then our parliament speaker will hold meetings with the leaders of the [four] political parties [to urge them to agree on a draft as soon as possible].”
This is the third time the commission has been given an extension to finish writing the draft. The commission was scheduled to conclude its task by Dec. 31, 2012, but has failed to keep up with the schedule. It was then granted three extra months. That deadline expired on March 31. After the commission failed to conclude its work by the extended deadline, it was again given an extra month. The deadline expired on April 30.
Another AK Party member of the commission, deputy Ahmet İyimaya, told reporters that he expects the commission to keep its pledge to finish the draft constitution by the end of June so that Turkey can have a brand new constitution.
The commission has three members from each of the four political parties represented in Parliament. However, members of the commission have stark differences over many topics, which has made it hard to complete the new document.
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 broader rights and freedoms.
According to Republican People's Party (CHP) deputy Atilla Kart, also a member of the constitutional commission, the CHP will work to urge members of the commission to agree on as many articles as possible to be included in the new constitution by the end of June. “We will keep up our constructive efforts for a new constitution. The commission will convene at the end of June once again to discuss its work thus far,” he stated.
The commission has so far discussed 180 articles to be included in the new constitution, but members of the commission have only agreed on some 40 of them. Members have stark differences on the remaining articles.
Altan Tan from the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) called a press conference on Wednesday during which he expressed doubt that the commission will have prepared a draft constitution by the end of June. "I do not think that the commission will have agreed on a draft constitution by then. Plus, I do not think that all members of the commission would agree on all the articles of the new constitution even after 25 years of discussion," he stated.
Last Mod: 09 Mayıs 2013, 18:13