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POLITICS > AKP’s proposal to create strong presidential seat

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The ruling AKP’s draft suggests ‘parliamentary inquiry’ will no longer be necessary because the people will act as a check on the powerful president

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The AKP has introduced its proposal on presidential system, Bozdağ. AA photo

The AKP has introduced its proposal on presidential system, Bozdağ. AA photo

Göksel Bozkurt Göksel Bozkurt goksel.bozkurt@hurriyet.com.tr

The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has officially introduced its proposal on a new presidential system in the first step of what is believed to be a bid to create a powerful presidential seat for Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in 2014.

The offer was submitted to the Parliament Speaker’s Office on Nov. 5 for discussion by Parliament’s Constitution Reconciliation Commission, Deputy Premier Bekir Bozdağ said yesterday.

Under the current system, the Turkish president is largely a ceremonial figure, but the AKP aims to create an executive presidency as part of a reform process focused around a new constitution.

Parliament’s Constitution Reconciliation Commission will gather today and debate the parties’ proposals regarding the chapter on legislation. The presidential system will help build political stability and powerful governing, Bozdağ said.

“That’s why we believe that it is right to pass to a presidential system which bears stability and which is able to build strong governing instead of wasting years of Turkey’s future with discussions,” Bozdağ said.

Erdoğan set a strict deadline for the Parliament’s Constitution Reconciliation Commission’s work on Oct. 2, saying a charter had to be drafted with opposition help by year’s end or the AKP would strike out to produce the charter alone. His remarks were seen as both interference and an imposition by the opposition parties.

Erdoğan is a firm supporter of switching to a presidential system before May 2014, when the country will go to the polls to vote for the first Turkish president elected by popular vote. Erdoğan is expected to run in the elections.

 Bozdağ also said the ministers would not be deputies but would be appointed by the president.

“The government will not need to get a vote of confidence from Parliament because things such as a vote of confidence, censure motions and parliamentary inquiry will not exist. The executive body will be directly checked by the people as the president will be authorized through elections,” he said.

Details of the draft

According to the proposal, the president and ministers will not be able to introduce draft laws. The draft laws adopted by Parliament can either be put into force or vetoed by the president.

The most important supervisory mechanism vis-à-vis the president will be through budget as the president will draft and introduce each year’s budget, while also asking Parliament for next year’s budget.

A new body similar to the Council of State (Yüce Divan) will be formed within Parliament as a body that can try the president. Parliamentary elections will also be held every five years, while the same person can be elected president for two consecutive terms.

Parliamentary immunity will be preserved while the number of parliamentary seats will remain 550. The AKP has proposed lowering the age of parliamentary candidates from 25 to 18. The only ritual concerning the presidency will be an oath-taking ceremony. As for the oath text for lawmakers, the AKP’s proposal eliminates the expressions “before the Turkish nation,” and “… that I will be loyal to
Atatürk’s principles and reforms.”

If the proposal is eventually adopted, the National Security Council (MGK), which gathers the civilian and military leaders of the country, will be eliminated. But a security mechanism that includes the president’s security advisors, the interior minister and the chief of the General Staff will be formed.

November/07/2012

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Bagudu Bagudu

11/7/2012 5:24:31 PM

good news, Turkey will never be allowed into the European Union with this. Erdogan and Gül will perform the same dance like Putin Medvedev,

Hakan Salci

11/7/2012 5:20:10 PM

These proposals are akin to nothing but civilian dictatorship; whichever way you cut it. Checks and balances that are essential in a democracy will not exist in this new system; complete power under one roof and one man. Forget EU membership criteria etc. etc.; the AKP used the EU process as an excuse to crack down on the military, opposition, and existing government establishment. It now has what it wants and couldn't care less about joining any club. Ataturk will also be wiped out forever.

Disconnect 25

11/7/2012 4:57:00 PM

Well I think Presidential system it self is not as bad as we are talking here. Most of the EU countries, Central and in Latin America we can see a lot of examples. The point is, Turkey don't has any charismatic leader right now who can challenge Erdogan.

jeffrey Jeffrey

11/7/2012 3:27:39 PM

This is not a presidential system, this is dictatorship with no checks and balances. All Edogan needs to do to give people a real insight into his character is to shorten the ends of his moustache. I fear for Turkey.

Stephen Brunette

11/7/2012 1:27:22 PM

And the dictatorship strengthens its jackboot on the neck of the country and smothets democracy. Nothing changes in Turkey for the better.

Mehmet Emin Kara

11/7/2012 11:50:44 AM

I believe without making check and balance system Turkey may slip to the dictatorship, as people above criticized in the same complains. This issue is such a critical one and should be discussed and supported by professionals

Faruk Beisser

11/7/2012 9:30:12 AM

Sieg Heil! After Tsar Putin the First now the Grand Ayatollah in Turkey! Hooray, hooray, hooray! Long live the Grand Ayatollah!

Rimon Tree

11/7/2012 7:58:46 AM

Now this is farewell to Turkey from my side. Wish the turkish people the best and that in future they will make decisions they won't regret.

Johanna Dew

11/7/2012 7:26:25 AM

The procedure here described exactly how most dictators got their power to eliminate the opposition. And this will be the last act to bury Ataturk forever. This is also a clear signal to EU that AK parti don't want to join.As the Venice commission and Copenhagen criteria are sidelined. Excellent. Now AKP must stop begging for money. And stop on visa liberalization. Turkey choose to be part of ME

Murat

11/7/2012 12:50:09 AM

Birth of a dictaroship. They make CHP and generals look like babes in the woods. These things never end well, there does not seem to be any limit on ambition and need for more power.
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