Friday, May 14, 2010

CHP Files for Annulment

The CHP has filed its petition with the Constitutional Court to annul the constitutional amendments passed in parliament last week. From Hurriyet Daily News:
The Republican People’s Party, or CHP, applied to the Constitutional Court with 111 votes. Along with 97 CHP deputies, six Democratic Left Party, or DSP, deputies, seven independent deputies and former Prime Minister Mesut Yılmaz of the Democrat Party signed the CHP’s application.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, meanwhile, criticized the CHP on Friday for repeatedly applying to the top court to resolve the country’s political problems.

Speaking to the media after the application, CHP deputy Süha Hakkı Okay said the party’s objection to the package was both procedural and in terms of its essence.

In the petition, the party said the package was submitted to Parliament with procedural mistakes and that articles regarding the judiciary were contrary to the Constitution.

The petition listed the procedural and methodological mistakes first, saying the ruling Justice and Development Party, or AKP’s, proposal was actually a draft bill, not a parliamentary proposal. The party cited Erdoğan’s constant references to the word “draft bill” in its court application.

The CHP also said the AKP submitted the proposal to Parliament twice, thereby constituting a methodological mistake.

The AKP first submitted its package proposal with “stock signatures” the party had collected from all its deputies when they were first elected to Parliament in 2007. Because of the CHP’s objections, the AKP had to resubmit the proposal to Parliament by having all its deputies physically re-sign the new proposal in person.

Claiming further that the AKP had failed to obey the rule of secret voting in Parliament, the CHP attached alleged visual evidence of this procedural violation in its petition.

The opposition party further objected to the essence of the reform package, saying the articles, which envision a reorganization of the Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors, or HSYK, and the Constitutional Court was against the Constitution and a threat to judicial independence.
The Supreme Election Board (YSK) has scheduled the referendum for Sept. 12. The date is controversial because the party had planned to use the day to re-open the Armenian church on Akdamar Island in Van for religious services for the first time in the history of the Turkish Republic, a move initially showcased to symbolize rapprochement with Armenia.

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