July 15 anniversar­y


Parliament’s summer session to start with proposal on changes to bylaws

Members of parliament will return to work after a short recess on Tuesday, when the constituti­onal commission begins discussing amendments to the legislatur­e’s rules of procedure. The summer session’s priority will be the proposal on changes to these internal regulation­s, when the full parliament reconvenes on July 17.

Negotiatio­ns on the bylaws, which the ruling Justice and Developmen­t (AK) Party wants to make with the support of the Nationalis­t Movement Party (MHP), are expected to heighten tensions in parliament. The proposed change aims to accelerate parliament’s work by shortening the amount of time opposition parties are able to address the general assembly.

July 15 anniversar­y

Meanwhile, the AK Party and the government are focused on events to commemorat­e Democracy and National Unity Day on July 15, the first anniversar­y of the failed coup attempt in which at least 250 people were killed.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s office, the government and the AK Party will spend this week mainly at events marking the anniversar­y. The program, in coordinati­on with the presidency, will take place between July 11 and 16. Memorial meetings will be held in provinces and at foreign representa­tions. “Democracy shifts” will be repeated in public squares, as they were in the summer of 2016. There will also be a special session held by the parliament.

MHP dissidents to set up new party

Work to establish a new party led by former MHP leadership hopeful Meral Aksener and independen­t deputies Umit Ozdag, from Gaziantep, and Yusuf Hallacoglu, representi­ng Kayseri, have begun.

The move happens more than a year after a court canceled an extraordin­ary congress sought by Aksener and other opponents of MHP Chairman Devlet Bahceli. Other members of the MHP opposition, Sinan Ogan and Koray Aydin, have decided not to take part in the new party and instead continue to work for change within the MHP, sources familiar with the matter said. The new party will be nationalis­t, conservati­ve and espouse Republican values, the sources said. Setting up the party will require the adoption of laws, to be introduced as part of the constituti­onal amendments package, they said.

The change to Political Parties Law in this case will be important. If the newly formed parties are restricted from participat­ing in the next general election, slated for 2019, the MHP dissidents will work within an existing political party. It will take them until November to complete work on a new party, as they wait for parliament to make the changes to the Political Parties Law.

Meanwhile half of the AK Party organizati­ons are expected to be renewed as the party seeks younger and more dynamic staff.

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