CHP head Kılıçdaroğlu calls for early election in Turkey

CHP head Kılıçdaroğlu calls for early election in Turkey

CHP head Kılıçdaroğlu calls for early election in Turkey

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Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has called on the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) to call an early election “if it is not afraid of the people’s will,” saying none of the political party’s manifestos for the last Nov. 1, 2015 election promised to introduce the presidential system. 

Kılıçdaroğlu said there should be an election in which the parties can put forward their own amendment proposals before the AKP-drafted constitutional charter is submitted to a referendum. 

“In order for this constitutional amendment to be properly discussed in society and not imposed on society, elections must be held first,” he told reporters on Jan. 20. 

“Deciding to go to an election and present themselves in front of the public, the parties should say ‘if you bring us to power, we will change the constitution as follows.’ As things stand, none of the political parties included the presidential system in their declarations before the last election, including the AKP,” Kılıçdaroğlu added. 

“We are saying ‘hold an election first,’ as they do not go to an election. They are the ones who are afraid of the nation’s will,” he said.

The CHP head also touched on the raised tension in parliament, which recently led to physical altercations amid voting on the constitution change proposals. He said the main reason for the tension is the fact that the government is attempting “regime change.”

“The first reason [for the altercations] is that the proposal was not brought to parliament with an agreement. The second reason is the working conditions. Tempers have flared,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.

‘A campaign for democracy’

The CHP leader said his party would conduct the likely referendum campaign not as a political party but as a “democratic front.” 

“We will make preparations for the referendum. This preparation will not be as the CHP. We will make a call for all those who defend democracy and align with freedom by saying ‘let’s struggle together against this constitution,’” he said, adding that they will not even use the CHP’s party banner in the campaign. 

“I have 100 percent faith that the people will say ‘no’ in the referendum. If we destroy the common ground, we will only lay the ground for internal conflicts and fights,” Kılıçdaroğlu added. 

“With this proposal, a significant part [of society] has been excluded. It is a regulation that does not aim to fulfill the needs of 80 million people, but aims to secure the future of one person,” he said.