Parliament’s graft inquiry panel goes back to square one

A heated debate held in Parliament’s General Assembly on May 5 to investigate former Cabinet ministers Zafer Çağlayan, Egemen Bağış, Muammer Güler and Erdoğan Bayraktar, over graft claims.

The establishment of a parliamentary commission to investigate four former Turkish cabinet members of the ruling AKP is given another delay With the procedure for the establishment of a parliamentary commission to investigate four former ministers already delayed due to the failure of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) to nominate its members, the Parliamentary Speaker’s Office has also vetoed a majority of opposition nominees.

Relying on an article of Parliament’s internal regulations stating that lawmakers who have publically expressed an opinion about particular allegations cannot be a member of an inquiry commission into the same issue, Parliament Speaker Cemil Çiçek has rejected the inclusion of nine nominees from the Republican People’s Party (CHP) and three nominees from the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP). Çiçek wrote letters to the two parties requesting that they nominate new candidates.

All four parties represented at Parliament will be represented on the commission according to the proportionate number of seats they hold in the legislature. The ruling AKP will therefore hold a majority at the 15-member commission with nine seats, while the main opposition CHP will hold four seats and the MHP and the Peoples’ Democracy Party (HDP) will each hold one seat.

Most of the nine CHP deputies who have been vetoed have a background in the judicial profession.
All parties were expected to the give the final names of their nominations for possible commission members, in lists that would be three times higher than the number of deputies to be eventually included in the commission. Lots will then be cast to identify the final members of the...

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