Unanswered inquiries weaken Parliament’s role in checking executive

During the 24th parliamentary term, which began in 2011 and ended in 2015, deputies submitted a total of 116,000 parliamentary questions. Ministers, the recipients of these questions, only answered 33,000.

In a press conference on Thursday, Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy chairman Mehmet Bekaroglu criticized ministers for leaving so many parliamentary inquiries unanswered, saying it has hindered the Parliament’s role of limiting the power of the executive branch.

“In democracies, there are checks and balances. If there are none, then there can be no mention of democracy. Unfortunately, the Parliament is not allowed to check [the executive],” Bekaroglu said.

Providing an example from the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Animal Husbandry, which answered the questions of more than 30 deputies in one page, Bekaroglu said that the answers were poorly prepared and unsatisfying.

In the 25th parliamentary term, which took place between June and November, of the 2,260 inquiries submitted to the Parliament, only 165 found responses.

According to Bekaroglu, deputies now have no role in Parliament other than raising or lowering his or her hand on decisions.

SOURCE: TODAY’S ZAMAN

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