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Former deputy alleges AKP deceit in changes made to legislation

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A former Justice and Development Party (AKP) deputy has claimed that deception on the part of the ruling party was involved in unannounced changes made to a constitutional amendment package, resulting in a delay in the submission of the legislation for the president’s signature.

The proposed legislation, which will change the system of governance in Turkey into an executive presidency and at the same time greatly expand the powers of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, was sent to the president for approval on Thursday, almost two weeks after it was passed by Parliament.

Former AKP deputy Fevzi İşbaşaran argued on Twitter late on Wednesday that the proposed changes were not immediately sent for approval to Erdoğan because opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) deputies detected changes in the legislation after Parliament approved the final version.

İşbaşaran claimed that the AKP made subtle changes to the document allowing Erdoğan to be both president and the head of a political party. The MHP reportedly asked Parliament to review the revised version before sending it for the president’s approval.

In response to a question on the delay, Parliament had said the text was being edited, but İşbaşaran said such an explanation was not satisfactory since the relevant parliamentary department is very careful in editing documents.

The changes proposed jointly by the AKP and the MHP are criticized for fear of one-man rule in the country as it allows the president to dissolve Parliament among other substantial powers.

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