Opposition bloc in Turkey outlines proposal for constitutional changes

Opposition bloc in Turkey outlines proposal for constitutional changes
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Six opposition parties in Turkey that form the Nation Alliance disclosed on Monday its constitutional amendment package for replacing the current presidential system with a strengthened parliamentary model

The amendment package by the opposition parties that was announced with a theme titled “Now is the time for democracy” stipulates a comprehensive change 84 articles of the Turkish constitution for a return to the parliamentary system with an efficient checks-and-balances mechanism, to secure the separation between judicial, executive and legislative powers.

During the meeting that was attended by all the leaders of the opposition bloc, several speakers explained the details of the package.

The first one to talk was CHP (Republican People’s Party) Deputy Chairman Muharrem Erkek.

Describing the constitutional package as a 'historic step', Erkek explained that amendments for 84 articles under nine titles were proposed in the draft, which would be submitted to the national assembly after negotiating with all segments of the society.

Erkek said that the main reason for the current crisis was the Presidential Government System, which brought and arbitrary and incompetent rule, disregarding the regulations.

Erkek also said the judiciary will be independent and the ruling power will not be able to dismiss elected local administrators without a judicial decision.

DEVA Party Deputy Chairman Mustafa Yeneroglu announced that the amendment package lowers the election threshold to 3% in order to increase the representation power of the parliament.

Yeneroglu also said that to lift an immunity of a deputy, an absolute majority of the total number of members will be required to prevent arbitrary practices.

The draft text also pledges to downgrade the authority of the Council of Ministers to issue decree laws and says fundamental rights and freedoms cannot be regulated by decrees

According to the package, the president's power to veto laws will be terminated, and laws sent back by the President will be passed by the parliament with a simple majority.

The president will be elected for seven years and only for one term, says the amendment.