Turkish PM Erdoğan: We may have three polls in 2014
‘If no result is yielded, then Plan C occurs; we will introduce our own draft [charter],' Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan says in Washington. AA photoPrime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan once more signaled readiness to bring his party’s own draft Constitution to a people’s vote in absence of a consensus in Turkey’s much-anticipated parliamentary work to write a new Constitution, as he also eagerly insisted on considering a presidential system.
“Openly, I’m also losing my hope. We want the presidential system to be opened to debate,” Erdoğan was quoted as saying, while speaking with a group of journalists during an official visit to Washington.
Erdoğan’s remarks, published in daily Hürriyet on May 19, came when he was reminded that President Abdullah Gül had recently expressed hopelessness over the Constitution-making process. The prime minister used this question as an opportunity for to criticize the opposition for their firm objection against the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) presidential system proposal.
“Which mentality would be eliminated in case of a presidential system? No doubt, they are worried that their mentality will be eliminated. If no result is yielded, then the Plan C occurs; we will introduce our own draft,” Erdoğan added. “We have 326 deputies. We would introduce it to secret vote at Parliament. You know it will be a closed vote [session]. Maybe some brave individuals will come out despite party pressure,” he said, adding that they were also ready to serve with the current Constitution if their own draft was not eventually adopted.
“We will go to referendum if we reach the [required] number. Three elections [voting] may come in 2014,” he said, referring to the fact that local elections will be held in March 2014 and presidential elections in August 2014.
Erdoğan didn’t exclude the possibility of holding such a referendum before the end of 2013, if Parliamentary Speaker Cemil Çiçek declared the end of work by Parliament’s Constitution Conciliation Commission. In order for the new charter to pass through Parliament, 330 seats must vote in favor, leaving the AKP in need of the support of at least one other party.