Constitutional problems in the aftermath of the presidential elections
Turkey will face a constitutional problem in the aftermath of the presidential elections.
The outcome of the elections will be known at 10 p.m. on Sunday night. The process will then proceed according to Article 6271 on the presidential elections and the Constitution.
Article 20 of the law stipulates the process regarding the announcement of the outcome of the results, its declaration and also informing the relevant institutions about the presidential results.
Let me briefly explain:
1) The finalization of the election results and the declaration of the result by the Supreme Election Board (YSK) in TRT (Turkish Radio and Television Corporation);
2) The publication of the result in official newspapers;
3) The forwarding of the result to the office of the speaker of Turkish Grand National Assembly (TBMM) and to the office the presidency; and
4) The preparation of a document for the candidate that has been elected president.
These acts will be done by the YSK immediately after the final results without any delay and without any warning.
Right after the publication of the final results and after informing the relevant institutions, the document will be prepared on behalf of the elected president.
All these acts should be done a day after the results are finalized; that is either next Tuesday (Aug. 12) or Wednesday (Aug. 13).
Following the publication of final results, “If the person elected president has a legal relationship with a political party, this relationship should be terminated and his/her membership to the TBMM will also end,” according to Article 101 of the Constitution.
According to this article, in order for the candidate to gain the title of “elected,” it is sufficient for the YSK to declare official results. With this statement there will not be any discussion about who is elected and it will not be possible to claim that the person elected, is not elected. Complaints and objections to the election result can only postpone the final statement for a day or two, but won’t change what I wrote above.
The moment the final result is announced the relationship of the elected, most probably Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, to his party – the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) – will be terminated and his membership to parliament will also end.
However, it is written in Article 109 of the Constitution that the president will be able to appoint – from among members of the TBMM – the prime minister to replace the prime minister, seeing that his duties have ended since he has been elected president.
The right and legal thing for Erdoğan to do will be to tell the office of the presidency, either before or after the announcement of the final results, who will be the deputy prime minister who will act on behalf of the prime minister until a new appointment to the prime ministry is in effect.
President Abdullah Gül will give his consent to the deputy prime minister to assume the duty of prime minister until a new appointment has been made by making the decree published in the Official Gazette.
Gül would probably not appoint the new prime minister until the new president takes his oath and naturally, Erdoğan would not like to take his oath as prime minister.
According to the law, Aug. 28, the day Gül’s term as president is scheduled to end, the parliamentary speaker will hold a session where the oath-taking ceremony will take place.
Following the announcement of the final result, I hope that some will not want to have Erdoğan to continue on his duties as prime minister until Aug. 28 via artificial interpretations.
The implementation of the result of the presidential elections will start a new tradition in our state. In these times, we should avoid artificial justifications and say “what’s in a week.” Otherwise our state will be harmed.