New constitution to grant voting right to convicts

According to the new amendment, only privates and students of military schools will not be allowed to vote in the elections.

New constitution to grant voting right to convicts

World Bulletin / News Desk

The Constitutional Reconciliation Commission, which is working to draft Turkey's new constitution, has reached consensus on granting convicts the right to vote in elections in the new constitution.

Commission members from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party), Republican People's Party (CHP) and pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) decided to exclude from the new constitution the provision in the current constitution that “convicts cannot vote” during their meeting on Thursday when they discussed “the right to elect and be elected.”

The Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) objected to the amendment on the grounds that it would benefit the jailed leader of the militant Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), who is currently serving a life sentence on an island in the Sea of Marmara. If this article comes into effect, then a ballot box will be placed on İmralı island so that Abdullah Öcalan and other prisoners on the island will be able to vote in the elections.

According to the new amendment, only privates and students of military schools will not be allowed to vote in the elections. Although the BDP said these people should be granted the right to vote in the elections, the AK Party opposed the proposal.

“There are 800,000 privates. If ballot boxes are placed on military bases, everyone will know who voted for which party. Taking soldiers off military bases for them to vote would not be right, either,” said the AK Party members of the commission.

The AK Party's explanation dissuaded the BDP from insisting on the proposal.

The CHP and MHP members of the commission also proposed retaining the principle of “justice in representation, stability in the administration” that is in the current Constitution. This principle is the grounds for the 10 percent election threshold in Turkey. Although this proposal was not among the AK Party's proposals, the AK Party did not raise any objection to keeping it in the new constitution.

Last Mod: 10 Ağustos 2012, 17:47
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