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.