Freezing treasury funds to HDP before ruling a legal scandal - lawyer

Freezing treasury funds to HDP before ruling a legal scandal - lawyer
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Renowned rights lawyer Turgut Kazan said that if the Constitutional Court freezes the state funding to HDP before any ruling, that would constitute a legal scandal and an “election fraud”

The prosecutor’s request from the Constitutional Court in Turkey to freeze treasury funding to HDP (Peoples’ Democratic Party) even before any ruling in the closure case constitutes a legal scandal, renowned rights lawyer Turgut Kazan said.

“Article 69 of the Constitution states that if any alleged contradiction to the article is (finally) determined, "a decision to deprive the party of the funding] “partially or completely" can be made. Therefore, a sanction can never be applied as a precaution,” the former president of Istanbul Bar Association said on Twitter.

In the closure case against the pro-Kurdish party, the chief prosecutor Bekir Sahin called on the Constitutional Court to urgently freeze HDP's bank account, on the grounds that “the indicted party carries on with its actions and discourses which are indicative of its organic ties with the terrorist group."

The court will subsequently review the demand and reach a decision on 6 January, four days before the hearing session of the closure case against HDP.

Kazan reminded speculations that the elections could be applied at an early date like April or May instead of June and said before elections the state funding to the parties were increased and “keeping the HDP apart from the funding should be considered a new election fraud.”

“I want to believe that the Constitutional Court will not make such a mistake, it should not,” Kazan said.

As one of the five political parties that have enough deputies in the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TBMM) to form a parliamentary group, HDP is financially supported by the Treasury. The party is expected to receive a political funding of about 180 million TL (approximately $9.5 million) from the Treasury in early 2023 according to the proposed presidential budget. It will receive an additional 359 million TL (approximately $19 million) in the course of the year.

In case the Treasury's funds are blocked by the Constitutional Court, this may signify a financial blow to the party before the June elections even if the court does not decide to ban the party.