Newly elected Parliament Speaker Mehmet Ali Şahin has said he will put great effort into f
orming and passing a new constitution.
“The obvious need for a new constitution is stressed by those who reflect on Turkey's political issues. If there is a delegation for a new constitution that visits me, and I believe it will happen, I will do my utmost for the preparation of a new constitution,” said Şahin at the ceremony where he took over his new duties from former Parliament Speaker Köksal Toptan.
He also emphasized the importance of consensus among political parties in Parliament, saying: “I believe it is important to find consensus among parties. I am not the one who will make the new constitution, Parliament will prepare it.”
When asked what his first project as parliament speaker would be, he noted that he would listen to reports from various officials to see the general state of the office, saying: “The services launched in the last term will continue, and we will consider new projects with some people. I will share information about these new projects with you in the coming days.”
Answering a reporter's question on whether a troop of guardsmen in Parliament would be removed, Şahin said Toptan told him the General Staff agreed to alter its place but did not support the full removal of the troops, adding, “We will see if such a change is necessary or not after talks.”
Toptan underlined the significance of Parliament and defined Parliament as the place where all the country's problems should be resolved. “After two years, I left my chair for Mehmet Ali Şahin. Today, I still experienced the excitement I had the first day of my duty. To be parliament speaker is a source of honor and pride,” he said, adding that he sincerely trusts that Şahin will achieve more than he did.
“No one can remain in the same position in democratic systems, which is the excellent part of democracy. I will be happy if I can contribute to democracy in Turkey. The post of parliament speaker has devolved without any problems, which indicates the point that democracy has reached in the country,'' said Toptan, who stated that everyone should fulfill their responsibilities regarding the strengthening of democracy.
Şahin, the former minister of justice, was elected as the 24th speaker of the Turkish Parliament last Wednesday with the support of 338 deputies in the third round of voting. Other candidates were Republican People's Party (CHP) İstanbul deputy İlhan Kesici, Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) Sakarya deputy Münir Kutluata and Tunceli's independent deputy, Kamer Genç. According to the parliamentary bylaws, candidates must garner 367 votes in the first and second rounds of voting, which makes the election of a member of opposition parties impossible, whereas just 267 votes are necessary to win parliamentary speakership in the third round.