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ANKARA, Mar 24, 2010 (TUR) -- An executive of Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) said on Wednesday that his party was against the government's Constitutional amendment package.

Speaking to reporters, MHP group acting chairman Mehmet Sandir said that MHP would not support the package.

Noting that MHP did not think the package was "sincere, honest and serious", Sandir said that Constitutional amendment was not made through majority of votes; the decision to amend the Constitution was made unanimously.

Constitutional amendment package was prepared by the government and envisages amendments to 22 articles of the Constitution.

On Monday, a delegation of the ruling Justice & Development (AK) Party paid visits to the Republican People's Party (CHP), the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) and MHP to give information about the Constitutional amendment package.

Main opposition CHP also stated it would not support the package.

Regarding the bill, President Hasan Gerceker of the Court of Appeals said that the arrangements regarding jurisdiction in the package were against Constitution, while Council of State President Mustafa Birden said that the government's bill would further erode the independence of the judiciary.


The package amendments to 22 articles of the constitution- the articles 10, 20, 23, 41, 53, 69, 74, 84, 94, 125, 128, 129, 144, 145, 146, 147, 148, 149, 156 and 159.

The bill also envisions abolishing the provisional article 15 of the constitution which does not allow trial of the members of the Council of National Security formed after the military intervention on September 12, 1980.

The mentioned articles regulate equality before the law; privacy of individual life; freedom of residence and movement; protection of the family; right to collective bargaining; principles to be observed by political parties; right to petition; loss of membership of a deputy; bureau of the assembly of the Turkish parliament; recourse to judicial review, general principles regarding provisions relating to public servants; duties and responsibilities, and guarantees during disciplinary proceedings regarding public servants; supervision of judges and public prosecutors; military justice; the organization of the Constitutional Court; termination of membership of Constitutional Court; functions and powers of the Constitutional Court; functioning and trial procedure of the Constitutional Court; military high court of appeals; and Supreme Council of Judges and Public Prosecutors.

According to the bill, the structure of the Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK) will change.

The permanent members of the board will climb to 21 from 7, and the number of its associate members will rise to 10 from 5. They will be elected for four years, and can be re-elected after their terms in office end.

The bill also envisages citizens to make individual applications to the Constitutional Court and "complain about the Constitution", and paves the way for trial of executives of the September 12, 1980 military intervention era.

The decision of the High Tribunal can be re-tried under the bill.

The bill limits the term in office of members of the Constitutional Court with 12 years. A person cannot be elected as the court member twice. If a member exceeds the life limit before his/her term in office ends, s/he will retire.

The bill envisages votes of two-thirds of members of the Constitutional Court in political party closure cases and/or depriving a party of state assistance.

Also, the bill adds three provisional articles to the Constitution, one of which makes the amendments to the structure of Constitutional Court also valid in ongoing cases.

The actual associate members of the Constitutional Court will become permanent members.

Under the package, Article 53 of the Constitution regarding general principles about provisions relating to public servants; duties and responsibilities will be amended. Civil servants and the other public workers will be given the right to collective bargaining.

The package also includes an amendment to Article 69 about the political parties. Accordingly, the Council of State will carry out financial inspection of political parties.

Closure cases against political parties will be filed after getting permission of a parliamentary committee to be formed by five members of each parties having seats at the parliament. Majority of two thirds of the committee members will be required. The decision of the committee will be exempt from judicial inspection.

Also, political parties will be banned from politics for three years. Currently, this period is five years.

If the bill is to be put to referendum, it will be voted as a whole.

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Publication:Anadolu (Eskisehir, Turkey)
Date:Mar 24, 2010

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