AKP seeks support for presidential system

AKP seeks support for presidential system

ISTANBUL - Anatolia News Agency
AKP seeks support for presidential system

The support of the oppositional parties is a must in order to adopt a presidential, Deputy PM Bozdağ says. AA photo

The support of the oppositional parties is a must in order to adopt a presidential administrative system as the ruling party lacks four seats necessary to even take the idea to referendum, a senior government official has said.

“The AK Party (Justice and Development Party) cannot make this on its own. It is a matter of constitutional amendment which requires the votes of at least 367 deputies that we do not have. The AK Party has not even the 330 deputies needed to take it to referenda. Therefore this is an issue the Parliament should agree on. It should be discussed in detail,” Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdağ said in an interview with Anatolia news agency July 26.

Bozdağ, a long time advocate of the presidential system, is working on different implementations of the presidential or semi-presidential systems seen in the United States, France, Germany and elsewhere. The party is planning to introduce its own views about the change in the administrative system at the Parliament’s Constitution Conciliation Commission, a body tasked to renew the charter.

Bozdağ believes Turkish people are still closely following ongoing discussions regarding a switch to a presidential system as popular support for the change has climbed to 30 percent. The opposition’s withdrawal from the debate will not stop popular support from growing, Bozdağ stressed.

Turkey’s next president will be elected through a popular vote in 2014, Bozdağ said, stating that this refers to semi-presidency in the political literature. “It is very clear that a different Turkey will emerge after the 2014 elections, because our nation will mark a historical first by electing a president through popular vote. Considered with his or her authorities, it could be said that a de facto semi-presidency will begin. That’s why I believe these elections are very much important,” he said.

The opposition believes the ruling party wants to change the system for Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan who is eyeing to become Turkey’s President in 2014. Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has opposed any change to the system, arguing that a presidential system would bring a more authoritarian leadership to Turkey.