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Turkey has semi-presidential system already, says PM

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News | 2/3/2011 12:00:00 AM |

Turkey’s current system of administration is already a semi-presidential system, according to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

Turkey’s current system of administration is already a semi-presidential system, according to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

Speaking to journalists in the Kyrgyz capital Bishkek, Erdoğan said the presidential system could be seen “in France, and in Russia. We currently already have a semi-presidential system. There is a strong presidency.”

Meanwhile, Burhan Kuzu, known as the architect of a possible presidential system in the future, said he no longer had any desire to seek the model after witnessing unfruitful debate on the topic.

Kuzu, head of Parliament’s Constitutional Commission, said there was a vast difference between the Cabinets of a presidential system and a parliamentary system.

“I don’t see the presidential system as excluding Parliament,” said Erdoğan. “Not everything the president says will happen. In fact, there will be a dual Parliament, with a House of Representatives and a Senate.”

The prime minister also spoke of the benefits of the presidential system in speeding up bureaucracy. For example, there are a number of obstacles toward the appointment of a governor in the current parliamentary system, but a presidential system would mean only one vote would be necessary to close the matter, Erdoğan said.

“Where do we look to when we think of advanced democracies? The United States and England. What system is the United States being administered with? The presidential system. I want my people to think about that,” said Erdoğan.

“They are speaking of a two-party system,” said Erdoğan in reference to the United States, adding that the president and the opposition could both have equal amounts of power.

“President Obama lost power in the House of Representatives. The people want a strong ruling party and a strong opposition,” he said.

“We are not making any promises,” said Erdoğan when asked about a possible timeline for switching to the new system.

Responding to criticism, Erdoğan said the ruling Justice and Development Party, or AKP, was working closer with the president and that deputies were limited to three terms of service in order to bring fresh faces to the government.

Former Presidents Turgut Özal and Süleyman Demirel also brought up the presidential system, said Erdoğan. “They did not receive so much pressure. I was expecting more support from the media.”

Eroğan was also asked about the judiciary reforms, which he replied would take place with the new constitution, and about the 20,000 cases waiting to be heard.

As for Turkey’s European Union bid, Erdoğan said Turkey had “made its attitude clear in the past eight years. We have not given up on entering the European Union. If the European Union is not going to accept us, then they should announce it.”

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