A party leader cannot be a president of 80 million: Main opposition leader

A party leader cannot be a president of 80 million: Main opposition leader

ANKARA
A party leader cannot be a president of 80 million: Main opposition leader

The leader of a political party cannot be the impartial president of all 80 million Turks, main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has said, after President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan returned to the Justice and Development Party (AKP) as a member on May 2. 

“The leader of a political party can only be the president of those who voted for that party. He will only be respected within this framework,” Kılıçdaroğlu said in his address to CHP lawmakers on May 2. 

He was speaking after Erdoğan signed a document making him an official member of the AKP, amid plans to elect him as party chairman on May 21.  

Kılıçdaroğlu recalled that President Erdoğan took his presidential oath back in 2014 on the principle of impartiality. 

“On what kind of impartiality will a leader of a political party take his oath? It’s like appointing the captain of Fenerbahçe as the referee of Fenerbahçe’s match. Can something like that happen?” he added.

Kılıçdaroğlu said the CHP had worked to inform the public that a change in the government system might create difficulties as the president will lose his impartial status, meaning that the leader of a political party will appoint judges to the Constitutional Court and all other state offices and judicial institutions.
 
‘Constitution suspended’

CHP head Kılıçdaroğlu also said the continued implementation of the state of emergency, first declared after last year’s failed coup attempt, had caused the “de facto suspension of the constitutional order in Turkey.” 

“The constitution in Turkey is not in effect because the Constitutional Court is not reviewing unlawful decree laws. We cannot any more talk about constitutional safeguards,” he said.

Kılıçdaroğlu also added that “no one can talk about the existence of democratic norms in Turkey under current conditions,” noting that the Parliamentary Assembly of Council of Europe (PACE) had recently taken Turkey back under “monitoring” because of democratic reversals in recent years.