ErdoIan spends TL 254 million from discretionary fund between June 7, Nov. 1 elections

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan used TL 254.1 million from the stateand’s discretionary fund during the five months between the June 7 parliamentary election and the Nov. 1 snap election, the BirGandun daily reported on Thursday.
In the June 7 general election, no party managed to win the minimum number of seats necessary to establish a single-party government. After failing to establish a coalition government, Turkey held a snap vote on Nov. 1, which resulted in a sweeping victory for the Justice and Development Party (AK Party).
The BirGandun daily reported on Thursday that Erdogan had spent TL 76.6 million from the discretionary fund in the first five months of 2015, and then tripled that amount to a TL 254.1 million spent during the period between the general elections.
Erdoganand’s use of the discretionary fund first became a center of debate while he was prime minister. The main opposition Republican Peopleand’s Party (CHP)laimed that Erdoganand’s discretionary fund expenditures while prime minister prior being elected president on Aug.10, 2014 amounted to 20.5 times that of the previous three prime ministers combined.
He spent discretionary funds of TL 103 million in 2003, TL 107 million in 2004, TL 85 million in 2005, TL 327.4 million in 2006, TL 432.4 million in 2007, TL 510.7 million in 2008, TL 634.4 million in 2009, TL 706 million in 2010, TL 951 million in 2011, TL 1.175 billion in 2012, TL 1.2 billion in 2013 and TL 1.075 billion in the first nine months of 2014, according to the CHP.
The discretionary fund is a special allocation to finance covert operations that was until recently solely for the use of the prime minister. According to law, it is a crime to reveal how money from the discretionary fund is spent, and the prime ministerand’s office is able to file a criminal complaint against anyone who makes the nature of this spending public.
In addition, when Erdogan took over the presidency from the former head of state, Abdullah Gandul, the Finance Ministry increased the budget of the Presidency by TL 148 million.
The annual presidential budget, which was TL 199.5 million in the last year of Ganduland’s presidency, was upped to TL 397 million in the first year of Erdoganand’s ascension to the top spot. However, even that approximate 100 percent increase was not enough, as the Finance Ministry also allocated an extra TL 148.9 million to the presidential budget for a total of TL 545.9 million.

SOURCE: TODAY’S ZAMAN

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