Former main opposition party leader calls on President Erdoğan to dissolve charter changes
AA photoDeniz Baykal, a veteran politician and former head of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), has called on President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan not to approve the constitutional amendments package for the sake of Turkey’s future, state-run Anadolu Agency reported on Jan. 31
“If Mr. President will omit signing the proposal for the constitutional amendments and stands far away from signing them, I think he would be doing the right thing. I hope they would make such a decision. This is the last exit before the bridge,” Baykal said.
His comments came after CHP lawmakers accused ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) officials of deliberately delaying to submit the charter, which passed in parliament on Jan. 20 and currently awaits the approval of the president.
CHP group deputy chair Özgür Özel said the AKP was in searches for postponing the charter because early polls indicated the “no” votes were moving ahead of the “yes” votes.
“The swing voters are saying they do not know the context and are not being given information about the amendments. The discussions and protests in parliament made them become aware of the amendments. They have started saying no,” he said.
Baykal remains optimistic about the delay, noting that it is a spark of hope for the opposition.
“This delay creates hope for common sense to prevail, and hoping this [charter] is not signed so that this troubled period will not be lived in Turkey,” Baykal said.
CHP, HDP have own identities
Answering a question regarding CHP’s charter links to the Kurdish-issue focused Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), Baykal criticized such accusations, saying they were “unfair.”
“Every political party has its own identity. The CHP does not deserve any doubt about this. Its history is apparent and the situation is clear. Impeaching the CHP of such misrepresentation shows that the accusers do not have anything to tell the public,” Baykal said, criticizing the AKP for running a smear campaign against the opposition.
“It shows that the government is willing to carry out this campaign by not describing the content of the proposal, nor explaining it or advocating it, and not showing its benefits, but they are pursuing it by accusations and smears, as we have seen before. I am saddened by that,” he said.