- The main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) abandoned an inter-party commission tasked with writing a new charter on Feb. 16 over the presidential system debate.
CHP commission member deputies said the commission was “a plan for the presidential system” after they left the table during its third meeting amid discussions with ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) commission member deputies over the presidential system.
CHP deputy head Bülent Tercan said at a press conference that the commission was part of the plan for a presidential system and that Parliamentary Speaker İsmail Kahraman declared that the commission would not work.
“There is an unreal and insincere approach. We disapproved of such working on the commission that would act as a subsidiary of this campaign,” Tercan said, adding that they could not reach a consensus over the founding principles.
Meanwhile, AKP spokesman Ömer Çelik said the parliament was capable of writing a new constitution, while criticizing the unwillingness of the main opposition to help write the new charter.
“The process of a new constitution is a process managed in the name of the nation. It has been sabotaged by the CHP once again” Çelik said.
The AKP, CHP, Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) each had three members on the panel under the chairmanship of Kahraman. A panel which had been formed in previous legislative years could only produce 60 articles toward a new charter.
The second meeting of the conciliation committee was held on Feb. 10.
The current constitution is largely unchanged from the hardline 1982 constitution passed after the Sept. 12, 1980, coup. The 1982 charter replaced the more liberal constitution of 1961, which also was drafted after a military coup.