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tv   Close Up  CSPAN  June 29, 2012 7:00pm-8:00pm EDT

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moment. it is more of a kurdish population looking for the outside. but the political is really challenging, but cannot be an alternative to the government. but it can look at the power of the kurdish political movement, the power of this turkish government onto the presidential elections. and if it was a political candidate he can be a candidate
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the second time, but i don't personally think that -- it is impossible. one of them would be the main candidate and much would you like it, but the question is here. who would replace tiny bomb as prime minister? and what was the relationship be as new prime minister and president? and it is the simple and quick formula is that the exchange of deposition the aragon and the prime minister, but the question
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is and the prime minister is so strong that he might not prefer the prime minister. >> thank you very much. the may follow up with one question asking for a brief brief answer. the implication is that this is mostly driven by personal ambition of the prime minister. he wants to become president so he can stay in power forever. as an observer in turkey, do you think there's an argument to be made that the implication is good for the turkish public and for the political system? >> i don't think it would be very good tip would be better for turkey. there are some people who prefer it and are, like me, there are
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some people who are against it. but there are democratically participated giving, but each part of the society that prime minister is dominating in every sphere of the political discussion. it is difficult to criticize the resolution. and if he lets these people discussed the position. but opposing the presidential system is not good. >> thank you very much. can we keep this -- maybe you can incorporate this into your next leader on the double have a chance to exchange a little bit on the panel. i think rusen has set up the stage perfectly for professor
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gunter with regard to the kurdish question comes whether to turn it over to you, professor. >> thank you you can do him a? is this working? during the summer and fall 2009, the problem in turkey when the ruling of the government of prime minister announced a kurdish opening. everyone ask him if turkey had not spent is peace and young people if they had not spent his last 25 years icon lights, where would we be today? even a pkk theater even a pkk theater even a pkk theater briefly took yoking seriously.
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>> it soon became clear that they had not thought up the kurdish opening very well and then proved rather in that in trying to implement it. specific proposals for lacking. furthermore, despite our party appeals, all three of the parliamentary opposition parties declined. even the pro-kurdish dpp fail to be engaged because it declined to condemn the dkk as the government had commanded. concessions to the kurds would hurt his turkish national days in presidential hopes. on october 182,009 to turn home to turkey also badly backfired
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when the patriots were made by huge welcoming receptions at the border crossing these were broadcast throughout turkey and proved too provocative for even moderate turks to perceive the affair is some pkk victory brigade. then, on december 11, 2009, the constitutional court after mulling over the issue for more than two years suddenly banned the pro-kurdish dpp because of its close association with pkk. although the pdp, excuse me for all of these alphabet soup things, but that's how we do it. the pdp quickly took the dpp's
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place, coming when it did come in the state ordered a banning of the pro-kurdish dpp party could not have, the worst time and put the kiss of death through the kurdish opening. however, a kurdish think tank stepped forward with new recommendations, one of which was the references to turkish identity and turkish bass and many laws and the turkish constitution do not comply with the multiethnic structure of turkish society. these constitutional references should be changed despite the deck down in article iv of the current constitution that quote they cannot be changed. changing them cannot even be suggested. the out party government of course supposedly has been considering writing a new more democratic constitution for turkey for many years.
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the success of his referendum in several cons to two shulman is held in september 12, 2010 reinvigorated this process here and now addition, the current 10% electoral threshold that makes it so difficult for pro-kurdish political parties to win any seats in the turkish parliament should also be lowered in line with current e.u. standards. in addition, the government should accept that their time education in usage and courts and jobless prosecution of kurdish politicians, lawyers and civil society leaders, the so-called kc k. trials that are continuing to this very day. one main problem now of course those with whom to talk. although we've been turkish observers recognized the pkk
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legitimacy despite all the states at first to discredit them would be difficult for the state formerly and openly to negotiate with them, given how the state has always defined them as mere terrorists. nevertheless. secretive talks with old salon were occurring. the turkish m.i.t. intelligent officials in oslo. although the secretive negotiations ended in failure at the time they were enough to make many hopeful. in a sense, the imprisoned pkk leader abdullah and has proposed democratization and decentralization of the turkish
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state into what he has at times referred to as a democratic republic. such decentralization would be based on the type i'm already listed in the european charter of local self-government adopted in 1985 and presently ratified by 41 states, including turkey with numerous important conditions however. but the turkish republic created in 1923 has always been a strongly centralized state. radical decentralization proposed by the pdp and out of line goes against the strong mindset. on the other hand, many states, famous for their centralized structure has recently in favor of what they saw as necessary decentralization.
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far from leading to their break up the states this decentralization has satisfied vocal particularism and check possible future independence. that's far from threatening national unity, decentralized and might deserve it. however, it does not even live in its southeastern anatolia and homeland, but scattered throughout the country, especially in such cities said as a simple come referred to as the largest kurdish city in the world as well as the fact that a sizable number of turkeys at the kurds have mostly assimilated into a larger turkish civic identity. given these facts, radical decentralization that would be an compatible with modern
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turkeys heritage may not be necessary. what is needed however is for the state to begin seriously talking with the most important genuine representatives of its disaffected kurdish minority in this of course means the pkk. however, after a few is going to resume negotiating with avalon and the pkk with avalon and the pkk with avalon and the pkk time must certainly come for time must certainly come for turkey to serious the terrorist organization and instead challenge to negotiate peacefully. this terrorism term events for two main parties to the problem from pulling negotiating with each other. others, however argue that even more, the ultimate problem is the inherent ethnic turkish inability to accept the fact that turkey should be considered
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in which the kurds had constitutional rights as cold stakeholders with the turks. during this last several months, where they can intellectuals have been rounded up for alleges affiliations of the pkk, kc k. whose democratic economy suggests a government in turkey. but the pdp, illegitimate pro turkish party. on may 24 of this year, leila saw not, the famous female kurdish leader, who previously had been stripped of her parliamentary seat in 1994 had been served 10 years in prison for a peaceful support pkk proposals was sentenced to
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another ten-year prison term. her latest sentence reminds one of what the strategy is to say at the bourbon. they learn learned nothing and forgotten nothing. these arrests point to serious problems. first, there is the nature of the crimes, which allege no violence. mere association is enough to be counted as a terrorist. in addition, they are tenuous as human rights watch has noted, resting my same in addressing terrier than on attacking legal pro-kurdish political organizations. second, the arrests come at a time in turkey is planning to develop the new constitution. the silencing of pro-kurdish races as constitutional debates go forward is counterproductive for turkish future. finally, there is three suspects
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are treated. virtually all are set at two retrial detentions, effectively denying freedom without any proof they have committed a crime. although precise figures are unavailable, human rights declared thousands have been detained. in conclusion, in conclusion, the recent announcements about elected kurdish language classes and the opposition republican people's party chp willingness to discuss the kurdish problem with the government do not -- do not impress this effect occurs very much. kurdish language clashes supposedly were made possible several years ago. and why should the chp discuss the kurdish problem linux more importantly however, still
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lacking is the willingness to genuinely negotiate with the pkk. unilateral attempts to solve the kurdish problem with minor unsatisfactory gestures and without genuine negotiation, indeed with trying to eliminate the other side, which is the pkk will not work. so we may have washington policy community impressed by the supposedly new turkish gestures, but washing gives approval amounts to little more than wishful groupthink and is not going to solve the problem. after 30 years of failed efforts, where are we today? harshly on dark playing swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight, where it armies clash by night. thank you.
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[applause] >> thank you very much. let me turn it over to levent koker. >> thank you, michael and thank you to the middle east institute for inviting me to this very important event as a speaker. we have a time constraint, so i'll try to be very brief, but i have to touch upon several important points regarding the constitutional aspects of what we have been discussing so far regarding the system changed from a presidential as him from elementary government -- some form, the problems we have with the kurds in turkey. let me begin this debate over presidential as some. the tradition and turkish constitutional system has been
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in history i mean, the tradition has been a parliamentary form of government. dating back to the ottoman times, the first constitution we had in 1876, we always had a kind of parliamentary system of government, with the exception of the national phase, where we had some form of limited monarchy, but not limited, cheney. it was still strong, but since this second resolution. in 1908. turkey has always had a parliamentary form of government but things have changed up tonight tdd because they designed a new type of constitutional government in which according to 1982 constitution we have a parliamentary system with strong
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presidential powers because at that time the president of the republic was general abraham. so the powers of the president were designed according to the rule. and they had in mind that the future president will be either another general, maybe another chief of staff for example, are some of the former president, bureaucratic coming from the upper echelons of the judiciary. the late mr. azriel challenge to this initial military -- design, which we call a system of tutelage and turkey democracy system, meaning that democratically elected government are under tutelary control of the military system bureaucracy. so what the moment, we have a
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parliamentary system was srong presidential powers. but until now as rusen minchin, the presidents were elected by the korean national assembly, not page direct popular order. the 2014th, we'll have for the first time in history to elect a president by direct popular vote but this constitutional powers. so what will happen? directly the date president by people with so much powers pertaining to the judiciary from the executive and legislative branches of government, then you might become like a president in the sense that he might eat all powerful. but there's a confusion i think either when we look into the debate from the good of political science, public lawyer because we have two actually
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forms of constitutional government in democracies. one is the transnational system as we know from the united states experience, which lives a strict separation of powers in which the legislative is not checked -- i mean, legislative and executed branches of government do not have powers to dissolve each others. surveyor and perfect situation of checking about teenage others with the independent judiciary checking imbalance thing of the other branches so that the purpose of this government according to the american founding fathers is to protect individual liberty by blocking some kind of pandering in the possibility of tyranny maturity. so when the system, the president is kind of in a weaker
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position than the prime minister for a president in a parliamentary or semi-parliamentary system. so if we want the presidential system in turkey, then i think we have to debate this very seriously, taking the american model as an ideal type and discuss this with some possible form of not fabulous in av, that some form of regionalism modeled on either the spanish case or the french case for the italian model may be and do something that we might have in mind, then semi-presidential or semi-presidential system be discussed. that will be discussed today, the prominent politicians have in mind as rusen said as the president to be elected by the people, by popular vote with so many powers pertaining to the legislative and judicial branches of government is still
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remaining a member of a political party. so this means that we are going to have a party send dictator on top of the turkish state. i don't think that's the prominent political parties, neither the prime minister or any other figure in turkish politics has this establishment to leadership. in the end, if we opt for a system of government with presidential powers and the president is a member of a political party with unchecked powers, let me say, we easily turned to send pain with some form of tater shed and the italian machine. so we have to make our minds cleaner and we should tell what we are going to discuss.
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presidential as some, okay. i'm not against it provided that we have to discuss also decentralization of the lead professor gunter putting his terms radical decentralization perhaps. i mean, we might think of this or that problem of regional government is strong vis-à-vis the central government to knock her out. now this brings me to the kurdish issue. i mean, pkk is the major actor in the struggle obviously. i admire professor gunter's work and respect them. i virtually agree with almost everything he said pertaining to the political analyses of the kurdish question we face in turkey, especially i fully agree
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with the research on the use of the term terrorism in this context because it distorts our public discussion over the issue of the kurdish people in turkey. what do the kurds want? iterative pkk ores dpp. this doesn't matter. the vast majority of kurdish people, according to my opinion wants their public political recognition and the turkish. so are there any constitutional obstacles for this public legal recognition of kurdish identity in turkey today? when we look at the articles in the constitution, we might see some problematic articles that
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should be changed. but as professor gunter referred to, arguing that the unamended bowl changes in the constitution, that is kind of sort of blocking the way republican political recognition of identity and turkey. i practically don't agree with this because the first three articles of the turkish constitution are not changeable. and all my article iii, the first clause of article iii has some of the of the events in this debate. articles three stipulates the territorial and national integrity of the turkish republic. it doesn't say anything more. but the higher court is in
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turkey, most importantly the constitutional court and the turkish court of appeals, we have a different system, a different link of systems than the united states. reset the high court, constitutional court and court of appeals in the high court for justice. these high court interpret this cause for stipulating turkish national and territorial integrity as a cause that requires a unity for those states. they see as an obstacle in pronouncing the existing of different examples, turkish people. only turkish can be a monotonic according to the example, but this is stipulated in article article xlii. but he does not an unchangeable
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article. so you can change this article and go your own way to the democratization without rewriting the constitution overall without having a totally new constitution. there's also an article i transaction, which is the article that stipulates or guarantees some form of extreme centralization and the administration and puts all units of regional government or local government under the tutelary control of the essential authorities in opera. this article could also be changed and there's a way for a legal reason for doing ascus turkey has to sit cherry to the european charter of local government. and if you fully implement this and change the article i to
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seven in the constitution, the kurdish demand for local democratic autonomy can be met with further implications for democratization of turkish society and a broader sense. so this problem could also be solved easily without changing the constitution totally. on the other hand, we have this article lxvi that was also a problem for the kurds and for the political recognition of kurdish identity because this article states that every citizen or every individual, which is that thai citizenship with the turkish state is considered to be a turk. now, this article for some prisoners, this article does not use the word turk or turkish and an ethnic sense, but when you
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look at some of the statute laws in turkey and some of his interpretations of the article, you can easily say that this turkish -- the word turk in turkish is an ethnic word. ..
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>> >> certain phrases like the constitution determines the integrity of the nation and the turkish state or at the turn of existence. for the purpose is for the well-being of the republic of turkey which is established by a the nation. excederin. something like that. the preamble has a mind said how we see the
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pre- -- priority of the state to be protected. so we have heard many words it is some part of my national pride a model east becomes a model but we shall not forget to turkey is number one that violates the european convention of human rights. it was number two in 2011. russia was first. 2011 we beat russia. [laughter] turkey is still semi a democratic bet to in this
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democratic. there is no excuse -- we have to overcome this to rewrite the constitution but in a manner to democratically reestablished policy. it requires a respect for multi-cultural democracy with european standards. [applause] >> thank you very much.
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one quick round of questions. brief answers so we can open it up. >> you gave us of the economy but have not told us if we see a new constitution. and about the process? it is in along the lines you have sketched out to? >> i am always on the optimistic side. with all the authors and columnists, humanity cannot regress.
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i cannot be pessimistic. i cannot translate into turkish. it to will be bright for turkey as well. we will have a new constitution. those who run it come from nationalist conservative backgrounds broke they have done an important things for the country. but have they reached their limit? what are we up to now? looking one from the conservative side.
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we have so many nationalist. nationalism is the way a to the democratized constitution. i hope turkey will not surrender the democratic reforms to reach a democratic constitution quickly. >> professor gunter, the argument about nominating but terrorists is noted but neither the turkish near the u.s. administration sees the problem changing anytime soon. within the limits of what
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mr. koker discussed with decentralization with the fact the president or prime minister should not just name the others? it should be a broader discussion to democratize structures which would benefit the kurdish population? that should be plan b if you try not to talk about the terrorist organization during golfing where political reasons? >> i know it is hard to change the terrorism label. stop use the term all the time and see what happens. down the road at, ed drop it. if we drop the label a i think that e.u. and united states would follow.
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it is up to turkey. with decentralization i think the kurds could settle for a lot less what to the pkk wants to be a party of negotiations i agree.
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if we did have the is confidential negotiations we could have common ground. it is not too late to to do something serious. >> if you plan to participate in the discussion, moved to the microphone. now you have said there will be an alternative and the event -- event has mirrored that talking about the elements of the akp model.
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is an interesting organization and is a broad coalition business people, groups, progresses, intellectuals that run not happy about the situation in turkey. will this coalition hold strong? will it the threat and? what is your assessment? >> the focus of the party from different sectors of society most come from istanbul and the minister of
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foreign affairs, and from a different sector of society but from 2007 came the president and the partner of the party and they left the party for a new party that wasn't successful. they dominated the party. if simply looking for a coalition 80 look at the performance of others.
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in my presentation i ask the relationship with other groups. and with the political sphere of turkey, i cannot say that. the nature of the coalition of the party, we should focus on the attention and engagement. >> thank you very much. i will lead ask you to do three things. briefly introduce yourself and direct your question or comment on the panel.
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>> talk about the role of the constitutional commission if you expect a document to emerge. and the influence of the movement of the choice of the president and their role of the president. >> this is for the professor. in the u.s. we have to be cautious to recommend the evolution and better loathsome to the turks. the scottish party is higher than ever and confront a a referendum for total independence for scotland.
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with the spanish model more of the mess in madrid spain deepen you can bet other independents will be higher. maybe you can talk about the inherent turkish model instead of looking for foreign models. >> professor gunter please start. >> i did not offer france as a model but suggested generally france and britain have decentralized. turkey will find its own model. with the decentralization
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but i doubt it. so if they become independent the military kills people? most turkish citizens would be largely following turkish models. >> because additional commission and reconciliation commission
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has started writing a draft constitution and wrote to two articles to formulate human dignity and the other intangibles with the german constitution. the third article on the quality they want to incorporate the specific rates of lesbian and gay and transsexuals to put sexual orientation for equality now there is a crisis.
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but i still have hopes. critical issues the kurdish language, despite the clash among the members. the process will continue because one of the principles they adopted with those they could not establish full agreement so it will be negotiated later on. and then can see things from another angle.
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>> it is risky. >> we only have one model with the turkish condition is concerned with the 13th century which is the best summarize with the rule of law i have a more principled account to and local government. i take it seriously and to look at politics is to
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achieve legitimacy and the diversity of society. it is best for people to face problems locally. if they want to establish establish, why not? the nation's state to prospective this is a political value i could not support. we only could the -- consent then they should do so. >> i think people interested
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in turkey of perrier global reality. and in the united states also and would say sometimes more. is a very large movement especially education. especially with the akp government with the 2007 elections.
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sony dodi ideas are a bit strong and for one year in turkey we're discussing our influence but for some years before the government with this particular military mind it would be enemy
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number one. through 2008 and 2009 it was difficult to discuss. but last year especially the president of turkish services there was the investigation against pkk. within it is understood and challenged to the government.
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and the first main question is transparency. it is enough with turkish democracy. and ask to be more transparent i don't think so the main central question is transparency a bit would prosper we would have less problems. >> analysis asking the
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moderator to select the answer but i ended stand everybody wants change but what is the procedure, practical way way, mechanism changes could be legally made? i am coming from six in grade school and how things are impacted on that. how is that done? >> i have bend by accident here.
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if we talk ethnicity of law but to have all come after 1,000 years of crusade of four or french revolution, world war i, world war ii is more common issue in the least to have of middle eastern union ? then it has it's place the kurdish or the suni and the question is why in academia
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i know it takes time but ask the question european union, south america, africa, far east but somehow never even talk about it. why can't we have that base? >> we've got it. i will turn it over. >> changing turkish law is the way to legally achieve change. the grand national assembly is constitutionally will change was or change the constitution are make a new
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one of course, it depends on the changes of the elected individuals. we usually forget turkey is a member of the council of europe and is bound by legal documents of the council of europe which is the convention of human-rights. with them was social and
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economic and cultural rights are the most developed instruments to promote human rights throughout the world. there is no other model in my perspective, put in the battle east would aspire to protect human rights they and the european model. i made my choice of the super nationalism of the european union. >> when the panel was designed originally it was with the understanding of the member of the party who would provide insights to
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the speaker's. respect them but the think not placing the person from minder stand there was a cancellation the audience was done in justice? >> i can deflect that question. [laughter] the panel has provided diversity of perspective. the party in power here and other places not only legitimate but necessary. i am sure you will report back what you have heard here and in this is the productive outcome for the next


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