AKP, MHP agree on presidential system

AKP, MHP agree on presidential system

AKP, MHP agree on presidential system

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The leaders of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) have agreed to submit a charter draft, which grants more executive powers to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, to parliament next week, after the two leaders reviewed the text in a meeting on Dec. 1. 

“The works we have conducted with the MHP have reached a certain level, and after the last review is made, God willing, the AKP will submit the proposal of the constitutional amendment to parliament next week,” Prime Minister and AKP leader Binali Yıldırım said after the meeting with MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli.

The two leaders gathered to discuss the constitutional amendment, including the shift to an executive presidential system, which was drafted by the AKP in line with the contributions of the MHP.

“We have made serious efforts to develop the text. The discussion today was positive in light of recent revisions,” the MHP’s leader said.

With 316 seats in parliament, the AKP needs at least 14 additional votes in the legislature to be able to take the constitutional amendment package to a referendum. With 40 seats, the MHP is poised to play a kingmaker’s role on the proposal.

Yıldırım said the text would be submitted for a parliamentary vote as “a text that the MHP and the AKP agreed on, negotiated and reconciled on,” so that the voting process would be taken accordingly.

“The style, writing and the form of the text needs a review. In that sense, our friends will finalize the text in one or two days by taking Mr. Bahçeli’s and our points into consideration,” Yıldırım said. 

A referendum will tentatively be scheduled 60 days after the parliamentary vote if the amendment passes in parliament with more than 330 votes.

If such a case, the referendum is expected to be held early in the summer, Yıldırım said, adding that they did not plan to hold early elections.

Partisan presidency to be introduced 

Responding to questions on the constitutional amendment, Yıldırım only revealed that the draft included a “Partisan Presidency,” meaning the president would be able to keep his links to a political party. 

“In the amendment, if the president is elected, his relationship with his party can continue. This is the most important change that has been made. The current constitution states that the relationship with the party will be cut off if the president is elected, the amendment states the relationship will continue,” he said.

Şentop: President will undertake PM’s authorities

Sharing the details of the presidential system designed in the new constitutional amendment, Mustafa Şentop, the parliamentary constitution committee head, said the president would undertake all the authorities of the prime minister and the cabinet.

“The president in today’s system, the prime minister and the government will be equal to the new president in the new system of government.” he told state-run Anadolu Agency on Dec. 1.

“The president and the government will not have the authority to submit draft laws; only the lawmakers will have the authority to submit proposals of the draft law,” he said, adding that the president would have the authority to issue a decree law and veto the draft laws issued by the parliament.

“The president will have the authority to issue a decree as a legal norm under the existing regulations of law, but the decisions will not be contrary to the existing law. The resolutions of the presidency will also be subjected to the Supreme Court’s supervision,” he said. “The president will prepare and submit the budget to the assembly.”