Gov’t plans to discuss changes in electoral law with parties, says minister

Gov’t plans to discuss changes in electoral law with parties, says minister

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The Turkish government is planning to discuss some “essential changes” in the country’s electoral law with all political parties, Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gül said on June 15.

Speaking in an interview with state-run Anadolu Agency, Gül said that the government is approaching all issues by thinking how the matter will affect democracy, the rule of law and the nation’s common will.

“We have always looked at all matters, including the election legislation, on how it will contribute to democracy, the rule of law, and the nation’s will, not how it will benefit the [ruling Justice and Development Party] AK Party,” Gül said.

“Thus, the nation’s interests and benefits of democracy in the country has always been our fundamental working point, not about individual or party [interests],” he added.

Gül also stressed the Law on Political Parties, Law on Elections and internal regulations are “fundamental texts” that form a country’s democracy. He also added that Turkey’s current legislations on the said codes were created after a bloody coup in 1980.

“I think that works regarding this needs to be done. Furthermore, the executive presidential system came. Thus, there needs to be a harmony with the executive presidential system,” he added.

Underlining that the AKP made “very significant” changes in terms of democratization, Gül added that the ruling party also took steps to strengthen political parties and politics.

The minister also underlined that a possible change in the electoral law should be discussed with a pluralist and participatory approach.

“We plan to bring essential need-to-be-done changes to the table and aim to discuss it with all parties,” he added.

Stressing that the reputation of the judiciary improved as advocacy strengthened, Gül said, “We want a structure that strengthens advocacy in all areas of law.”

“We’ll increase dialogue and cooperation to strengthen the legal profession and advocacy,” Gül added.

Legal proceedings to restart

Gül also announced that all legal proceedings and trials in the country would continue as of June 16 after having been halted due to the novel coronavirus outbreak.

“We’ve taken all precautions in courthouses,” he said.

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