Turkish Parliamentary Speaker warns of ‘Janus-headed’ executive after presidential election
Ömer Şahin ANKARA / Radikal
'The solution was a new Constitution. But even though there is not a new Constitution, the relationships should not remain in the current state,' Çiçek saysParliamentary Cemil Çiçek has warned about a potential “Janus-headed” executive if the presidential powers are not adjusted to the legitimacy that the head of state will gain after the first popular vote.
“How will be the relationship between a president who will have authority, but no responsibility and an effective prime minister? How will the president’s relationships with the legislative and the judiciary branches be arranged?” Çiçek was quoted in an exclusive interview with daily Radikal April 6.
“We have to agree on the principles. We should not have the problem of a Janus-headed executive. We don’t have time to lose with institutional disputes. We will have wasted our energy,” he said.
All eyes are now turning to the presidential elections, which will be organized in two rounds next August, after the polemic conclusion of the local polls.
The biggest question remains the transition to a semi-presidential or presidential system, as Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has hinted many times his intention to run for the presidency if the head of state’s powers were to be boosted with a constitutional amendment.
With the lack of agreement on a new Constitution, Çiçek called for comprehensive legal changes to adjust the political system to the new context of a president elected by a popular vote.
“The solution was a new Constitution. This has not been achieved. But even though there is not a new Constitution, the relationships [between the different branches] should not remain in the current state. Otherwise, there will be virtues needed such as sacrifice and talent to make the system work. We have to rearrange the political law and immediately define from scratch the Political Parties Law, Electoral Law, etc.” Çiçek argued.
He added the potential problems would arise regardless of the figure that will come to both executive positions. “My observations are not related to people, but to principles,” he said.
'Gül will have to wait to become PM'
Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister Emrullah İşler said President Abdullah Gül cannot immediately become prime minister if Erdoğan is elected president.
“If our prime minister becomes president, then someone will take his post. I believe our [current] president cannot occupy this post [prime minister], because he is not a deputy,” İşler said in an interview for the private television channel Kanal 7. He said there are two options for the President Gül to become prime minister in such a case.
“There are two options. One is the Bayburt model. The other one is by election. In these two cases, this process will take around two months,” said İşler. The Bayburt province has only one deputy in Parliament. If this deputy resigns, then the elections have to be renewed there; this would enable someone to be elected as deputy outside the ordinary elections time.
İşler also said the prime minister does not believe that there is a need for early general elections when the local election results are taken into account.