Obstruction from opposition parties has dashed government hopes of quickly pushing through its crucial privatisation bill. Delays have also forced the government to revise its forecasts of expected revenues from privatisation this year.

Obstruction from the Islamist Welfare Party (RP) has meant that only two articles of the privatisation bill have been passed by parliament since the bill’s introduction on 26 October (MEED 4:11:94).

Stiff opposition to the third article has now come from the members of the Social Democratic Party (SHP), the junior partner in the coalition to Prime Minister Tansu Ciller’s True Path Party (DYP). This article calls for simple majority decisions in the Higher Privatisation Board, which is entrusted with all key decisions on privatisation. The DYP holds three of the five seats on the board. The SHP, which holds the other two, has argued for unanimous decisions to enable it to retain some influence in the privatisation process.

Privatisation revenues have only amounted to about $520 million in 1994, compared with the original target of $2,300 million. The government has also said that the 1995 target is $5,000 million, as against Ciller’s ambitious forecasts earlier in 1994 of $18,000 million.