AKP mulls legal action on presidential period term

AKP mulls legal action on presidential period term

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
AKP mulls legal action on presidential period term

President Abddulah Gül speaks at a press meeting in Ankara in this file photo. DAILY NEWS photo, Selahattin SÖNMEZ

In a move to end discussions over the length of President Abdullah Gül’s mandate, the ruling party proposed legal action to fix the current president’s term in office at seven years.

“The president has been elected for a seven-year term according to laws at that time. His mandate can neither be shortened nor extended. In order to put everything back on the right track, a provisional article defining Gül’s term at seven years could be inserted to the relevant law,” Mustafa Elitaş, Justice and Development Party (AKP) deputy chairman told reporters yesterday.

Gül’s mandate has been a matter of discussion after a constitutional amendment reduced presidential term of office to five years with a right to be re-elected through popular vote. Elitaş has become the first official to voice the need of a legal move to end discussions on Gül’s term.

Deputy Prime Ministers Bülent Arınç and Bekir Bozdağ said Gül was elected for a seven-year term. Many have speculated the government left Gül’s mandate bleak on purpose so Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan could run for the post.

If Parliament endorses such a move, Gül will remain in his position until Aug. 28, 2014.