Press Release No: Plenary Assembly 2/18
05.01.2018

PRESS RELEASE CONCERNING THE DECISION ON THE RULE REGULATING THAT A PERSON CAN NOT PERFORM THE PRESIDENCY OF THE SAME EXPORTERS’ ASSOCIATION MORE THAN TWO TERMS

The Constitutional Court dismissed, at its plenary meeting on 12.7.2017, the request for the annulment of the second sentence of article 6 § 3 of the law no 5910 dated 08.06.2009 on the Foundation and Duties of the Turkish Exporters Assembly and the Exporters’ Associations.

Rule requested to be annulled

Any person may chair the same association for a maximum of two periods as of the effective date of this Law and may not be elected for the same office once again. 

Grounds for the requests for annulment

It is stated in the annulment request that alleges that Article 135 of the Constitution guarantees the organs of professional organizations having the characteristics of public institutions to be elected by their members; accordingly it is envisaged that the members of the organization are entitled to elect and to be elected, and that the prohibition of the reelection of those who already presided at exporter’s associations’ administrative boards for two periods has the nature of preventing the use of democratic rights and indicates an excessive limitation of the right to elect and be elected, therefore it is violating Articles 2, 6, 13, and 135 of the Constitution.

The Court’s Assessment

Assessments of the Constitutional Court regarding these allegations are briefly as follows:

The Constitution does not include any regulation regarding the duration of the duties of professional organizations having the characteristics of public institutions. The legislator has the authority to make arrangements with respect to the professional organizations or higher institutions having the characteristics of public institutions in terms of matters that are not regulated in the Constitution, provided that they do not contradict with the principles stated in the Constitution. In this context, it is the discretion of the legislator to limit the chairmanship of a person’s board of administrators to two periods in the same exporters’ association. However, it is necessary for the legislator to exercise the discretionary powers in the legislative matters within constitutional borders and taking the criteria of justice, equity and public good into account.

The contested rule restricts the duration of the administrative duties at professional organizations and or higher institutions, and it was made for the purpose of preventing the inconveniences caused by occupation of the positions with same persons for long durations, it aimed at providing equality in opportunity and dynamism in the administration, and, therefore, it is not contrary to the public interest.

In addition, since the contested rule’s scope is limited to presidential terms in the same exporters’ association, there is no obstacle for a person at the end of two presidential periods to act as a member of the administrative board in the same exporter's association or to be a president in a different exporters’ association. When the purpose of the limitation is taken into account, the limitation of the presidency with two terms cannot considered to be proportionate.

 Consequently, the Court found no violation of the Constitution and dismissed the annulment request.

This press release prepared by the General Secretariat intends to inform the public and has no binding effect.

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