CHP EU representation in Brussels has presented an anti-corruption manifesto to the EU which includes a list of precautions that the CHP is planning to take against corruption and bribery should it come to power in the upcoming general elections on June 7.
Referring to the corruption and bribery allegations being directed at the current Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government after a major graft probe became public on Dec. 17, 2013, the CHP stated in its manifesto, “Unfortunately, acts of misconduct by public officials such as bribery, misuse of powers and embezzlement are serious problems in Turkey.”
The manifesto claims these problems seen in Turkey under the AK Party rule will be eliminated if the CHP comes to power in the upcoming elections. The CHP will also conduct a detailed investigation into the corruption and bribery acts that the AK Party allegedly engaged in during its rule.
According to the manifesto, the AK Party acts that the CHP is planning to investigate in a detailed manner are the “enterprises deemed suspicious that they had been privatized under-valued and through which unlawful profits have been made after privatization; the public contracts awarded regularly to specific companies through restricted negotiating procedures that are held closed to competition; the housing constructions works done by TOKI (Housing Development Administration of Turkey) in return for land and with no legal basis; the energy contracts signed through the international agreement methods to avoid tender proceedings; the overnight customs arrangements made with the intent of transferring funds to specific companies; the tender processes taking place for coal and food aid projects; the tender processes by the greater city municipalities with the aim of transferring funds to specific media groups; the gold and fuel smuggling allegations.”
The CHP also says it will establish a Final Account Committee in Parliament to be able to immediately punish those state officials who commit any form of misconduct or bribery.
A part of the manifesto titled “Effective Supervision” states: “The penalty for bribery and corruption offenses will be increased, and the statute of limitations for these crimes will be lifted; and the Court of Auditors (Sayıştay) will be restructured and its powers will be broadened, ensuring that it gains more effectiveness.”
Judicial and parliamentary immunity is also discussed in the manifesto. The CHP states that the party will not allow the immunity to be used as a protective shield for corrupt officials. As part of this intention, the CHP lists the precautions to be taken as follows: “Parliamentary immunity will be limited to freedom of expression under the Parliament’s roof; all existing files pending, due to parliamentary immunities, will be immediately referred to appropriate courts; the funding of political activities will be rendered and transparent. The mentality of ‘merchant politics’ will be eliminated; a law on Political Morals will be submitted; the declarations of property of the elected members of the parliament (MPs) and the executives will be publicly published online; it will be made mandatory for the prime ministers and the ministers to transfer the portfolio management of their assets to a trustee for the duration of their office terms; the scope of the restrictions to accepting goods and services intended as gifts will be revised, establishing the same standards applied in Western countries; legal arrangements will be made to ensure that an MP who directly or indirectly profit financially from transferring from one political party to another, has his/her TGNA (The Grand National Assembly of Turkey) membership automatically revoked; political parties’ income data and expenditures will be publicly announced thoroughly and accurately; the election spending of the political parties and the electoral candidates will be limited and audited in accordance with the Western democratic norms.”
Download: CHP Anti-Corruption Manifesto