Bill ready to fix Gül’s office term

Bill ready to fix Gül’s office term

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
A sub-commission in Parliament tasked with fine-tuning a bill on the procedures of presidential elections added yesterday a provision to the text that would fix President Abdullah Gül’s term at seven years.

The article, backed by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), states that “the mandate of the 11th president is seven years,” parliamentary sources said. The draft would also include a provision indicating that the incumbent president would be bound by legislation that was valid at the time he was elected, an implicit reference that Gül would serve a single term and would not be eligible to stand for re-election in 2014, the sources said.

The bill is scheduled to go to a further debate at the Constitution Commission on Jan. 12 ahead of a vote at the General Assembly.

Turkey’s next president will be elected by popular vote for the first time, and Parliament has to pass a law that will outline the procedural rules for the elections.

The bill could end a controversy about how long Gül will serve. Unlike the AKP, the opposition argues that Gül is entitled to a once-renewable, five-year term in line with constitutional amendments approved in a referendum in 2007, shortly after Parliament elected Gül for a single seven-year term.