Turkish PM mocks main opposition leader for charter referendum remarks
DHA photoPrime Minister Binali Yıldırım has mocked the leader of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, over the latter’s remarks on the April 16 constitutional referendum that will decide whether the current parliamentary system should be replaced by an executive presidency.
On March 6, Kılıçdaroğlu said problems could occur in the proposed system “if the prime minister and the president don’t agree,” when in fact there will be no prime ministry post in the proposed executive presidential system.
“Assume that we formed the new model. The people elected the president and the prime minister became someone else. The president will be the party leader of a party and the prime minister will be the leader of another party. Then fights will erupt. We need to think about that,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.
Mocking CHP leader for his aforementioned statements, Yıldırım said that “they should thank Kılıçdaroğlu for telling about the problems in the current system.”
“We are trying to tell the people about the charter changes, but actually we need to thank Kılıçdaroğlu. He told what we couldn’t in a very beautiful way. He said, ‘If the prime minister and the president are from different parties and if they don’t get along, what will happen?’ That’s exactly what we’re saying. The current system causes that,” Yıldırım said during a ceremony held in the western province of İzmir on March 8, adding that the proposed system removed the “probable conflicts and the debate on authority.”
“Kılıçdaroğlu isn’t aware that the system is changing; maybe he was tired. With the new system, the presidential elections will no longer cause crises in Turkey,” he said.
Turkey will hold a referendum on April 16 to decide whether to shift the government system into an executive presidency with vastly enhanced powers for the president or to protect the current parliamentary system.
The “yes” vote is endorsed by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), while the CHP and the opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) are campaigning for a “no” vote.
In a speech later on again in İzmir, Yıldırım this time said Kılıçdaroğlu was unaware of the proposed changes.
“It’s obvious that he doesn’t know about the changes. The changes are going to be done in order to solve the problem he mentioned. The prime ministry and the presidency will be joined in this system. There will be a single president and his deputy, but there won’t be any prime minister. You vote for the president, his deputies and the ministers. You don’t leave it to the parliament, you decide on who will govern the country directly. The beauty of the system is that,” he said.
Saying that Kılıçdaroğlu “should work for the country,” Yıldırım noted that “the CHP leader lost seven general elections and is still engaged in one-man [rule].”
“Despite that, you are giving us a lesson on one-man rule. He says, ‘One-man rule will come.’ Can there be two men? Of course there will be one man. There won’t be two captains on one ship. Double-headedness will disappear. They are speaking because they don’t know about it,” he said.