Court opens third-time presidency

Court opens third-time presidency

Court opens third-time presidency

TOBB President Hisarcıklıoğlu has trusts in competition in NGOs. AA photo

Turkey’s Constitutional Court has lifted a code that limited the duty periods of heads of chambers and bourses to two terms in a row, giving the green light to the re-election of several business leaders, including Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges (TOBB) Chairman Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu.

The court cancelled an amendment that forbade “two-term presidents to run for election a third time without taking two terms off,” by judging the amendment to be unconstitutional.

It was ruled that the subject violated the “equal rights to elect and to be elected” principle in the Turkish Constitution.

The original amendment prohibited 80 percent of the current chambers and commodity exchange presidents from entering forthcoming elections, forcing them to take a leave of absence for two terms and run again later. Since the implementation of the amendment has been stopped Hisarcıkoğlu and other business heads in similar situations will now be allowed to compete for third terms. The court’s ruling will not eliminate the competitiveness in the elections, it will increase instead, Hisarcıklıoğlu said on Jan. 11.

MPs may benefit

“Justice and Development Party (AKP) MPs, mayors or organization managers might appeal to the court as well for an annulment of the legislation restricting them from running for a fourth term,” former Justice Minister Professor Hikmet Sami Turk told daily Hürriyet. Most of the AKP’s lawmakers, including Erdoğan and the other core members of the government, were elected for third terms during the last round of elections and current law prohibits them from running for a fourth term.