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AKP Minister Bekir Bozdag and others at the Constitutional Commission

03/05/2016 - 13:32 0
Lifting of Parliamentary Immunity to Oust HDP Accepted at Constitutional Commission

The constitutional change to lift MP immunity was accepted unanimously by votes from the CHP, MHP and AKP after HDP deputies left discussions yesterday.

Discussions at the Constitutional Commission ended with fighting between AKP and HDP MPs on two occasions with government deputies attacking their HDP counterparts. The HDP has called the bill to strip MP immunity ‘a coup against the parliament,’ and walked out of discussions after the second incident. It is expected that the change, which will needed to be voted in by MPs at the General Assembly, will be go through in the coming days.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan brought the lifting of immunity onto the agenda after he accused HDP MPs of being extensions of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, PKK. The proposal for a constitutional change was then put on the table by the ruling AKP government. The change will mean that HDP MPs, who at the moment are protected by immunity laws, can be tried and imprisoned for speaking in support of Kurdish rights and autonomy.

The change in constitution will be seen as another victory for Erdogan and the AKP as they will have brought the CHP-MHP opposition on-side against the HDP and neutralised them before what many circles are saying will be calls for an early election to change Turkey's parliamentary system into an executive presidential system.

Speaking before HDP MPs stormed out of the Constitutional Commission meeting, Mardin MP Mithat Sancar said, “History, the people will judge what we tried to defend, why we are here. We have no fear. We have nothing to lose. The only thing we have to lose is society’s hope for peace and democracy. But we will lose nothing. It is a medal of honour for us if we are sent to prison because of a decision taken here. We resisted the injustices for peace and democracy. But you [AKP] made everything here contemptible. All of your attacks [on us] are recorded. It is there for all to see. You tried to silence us. We asked you what the rush was for but you didn’t respond. We know the order came from above [Erdogan] and this why you’re rushing. We have said what we needed to say; now this stage has turned into a sham. We will not be a party to this sham. History will condemn you [for your actions].”

A group of HDP MPs marched out of the parliament singing the Kurdish anthem, “Wheel of Revolution.”

Source: DIHA