AKP forces parliament to revote bill previously rejected by opposition

In a total disregard of parliament bylaws, the AKP will make the parliament next week revote a draft bill that attempts to introduce background checks for public officials. The move comes although the bill was already rejected by the opposition on March 31.

AKP deputies are seen shouting at the opposition in parliament.

Duvar English 

Due to the intervention of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), a bill that has been already rejected by the opposition will be put into a vote for the second time next week. 

A draft bill proposed by the AKP that sought to introduce background checks for public officials was rejected by the opposition in parliament on March 31.

The People's Alliance consisting of the AKP and its far-right ally Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), however, objected to the voting that led Parliament Speaker Mustafa Şentop, from the AKP, to file a demand with the parliament's President Board for a revote to take place.

The opposition has recalled that the AKP's move is in complete disregard of parliament bylaws, which state that a rejected draft bill can't be debated again for a year. 

"We're seeing historical moments in parliament," Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) Group Deputy Chair Meral Danış Beştaş said about the attempts to violate the bylaws. 

"We're experiencing an extraordinary day," main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) Group Deputy Chair Özgür Özel said. 

"They want to stage a direct coup against parliament," he added. 

In the face of the opposition's criticism, Şentop said that he had "fulfilled his duty as a parliament speaker." "I see it as a manipulation that discussions with regards to the parliament's will are taking place. I would like to express that I am capable of doing this job much better [than opposition lawmakers]; I would make them regret [their remarks]," Şentop said. 

The parliament's Presidential Board granted the AKP and MHP their wish for a revote which will take place on April 6. 

CHP chair: A tyrant's demand overshadowed parliament's will  

CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu released a statement with regards to the AKP's move, saying the party's deputies had gathered upon an "instruction from the [presidential] palace" and "sabotaged the parliament." 

"A tyrant's demand has overshadowed the will of the Turkish parliament. We reject it and will reject it," Kılıçdaroğlu said in a video which he shared on his Twitter account. 

"In the upcoming period, we will give these people [AKP deputies] their lesson in the ballot boxes. We will give them their lesson through democratic ways. We will bring this country democracy, rights, law and justice," he said. 

The initial rejection of the bill by the opposition on March 31 prompted surprise since the AKP and MHP hold the majority in parliament and manage to pass all the bills as a result. 

"The draft bill on security checks was rejected by opposition votes!" HDP deputy Filiz Kerestecioğlu tweeted, while pointing to the solidarity between the opposition parties during the vote. 

The bill was rejected mainly due to the absence of AKP deputies during the voting.

The draft security bill had been slammed by the opposition for legalizing the blacklisting of public officials. It was previously annulled by the Constitutional Court, but it didn't stop the AKP and the MHP from reintroducing the bill some nine months after the top court's decision. 

"AKP and MHP deputies are puzzled," CHP deputy Murat Emir tweeted after the voting. 

Addressing parliament before the voting, Good (İYİ) Party deputy Dursun Müsavat Dervişoğlu said that the AKP has been wanting to pass the bill since the July 15, 2016 failed coup attempt. 

HDP deputy Mehmet Rüştü Tiryaki made similar remarks, noting that the AKP tries to legalize the practices it implemented during the state of emergency that was imposed following the attempted takeover. The HDP deputy also said that the bill wanted to give excessive authority to administrations and that the state needs to give up perceiving its citizens as threats. 

CHP deputy İbrahim Kaboğlu previously slammed the bill for attempting to violate the presumption of innocence, adding that subjective evaluations can be made following the proposed background checks.