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Commission adopts AK Party proposal on immunities amid fistfight among deputies

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A controversial proposal by the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) on lifting immunities of lawmakers were adopted by a parliamentary commission on Monday night amidst an exchange of fistfight among the deputies.

The ruling AK Party, the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) supported the proposal which was voted after a brawl that erupted between HDP and AK Party deputies.

HDP deputies walked out the commission in protest.

The CHP and the MHP had earlier announced support to the proposal which was recently filed by the AK Party on lifting immunities of deputies from prosecution.

The proposal, which was submitted to Parliament last month with the support 316 AK Party deputies, suggests lifting the immunities of all deputies who currently face probes.

The proposal particularly targets some deputies from the HDP, who have been long accused of supporting the PKK by the government.

The AK Party’s controversial proposal seeks to amend Article 83 of the Constitution which says: “A deputy who is alleged to have committed an offence before or after election shall not be detained, interrogated, arrested or tried unless the General Assembly decides otherwise.”

If the change is approved in Parliament, this provision will not be applied to cases already filed against lawmakers and all the files of summaries of proceedings currently waiting in Parliament’s Joint Constitution and Justice Commission, the Parliament Speaker’s Office, the Prime Ministry and the Justice Ministry will be returned to the Prime Minister’s Office within 15 days after the amendment goes into effect in order to be sent to the judicial authorities.

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