Don’t debate presidential system with MHP, CHP head warns party

Don’t debate presidential system with MHP, CHP head warns party

Rifat Başaran – ANKARA
Don’t debate presidential system with MHP, CHP head warns party

AA photo

Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has warned members of his party not to engage in debates regarding the presidential system with members of the opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP). 

“Bahçeli wants us to fight with the MHP in order to consolidate his voters. We won’t fall for that trap,” Kılıçdaroğlu told the heads of 81 districts in the Black Sea province of Trabzon, adding that there was no need to target the MHP.

“We don’t need to target the MHP. There is no need for a fight or a special opposition,” he said.

During his speech, Kılıçdaroğlu reiterated the CHP’s stance on the introduction of the presidential system. 

“Bahçeli sees what I see. If I’m thinking of the future of this country, Bahçeli should do that too. We are against the presidential system; that’s it,” Kılıçdaroğlu said. 

Saying the CHP needed to explain why they were against the presidential system, Kılıçdaroğlu said the reason they had not commented fully on the system being proposed by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) was that they had not yet seen the text. 

“We have to explain why we are against the presidential system. Why are we not going into details? Because there is no text. We will talk about it after the text surfaces. I still have doubts that Bahçeli will say ‘yes’ to the system they’re [AKP] going to propose. They may not say ‘yes.’ There is no point in yelling and shouting without having a clear picture in front of us,” he said. 

Kılıçdaroğlu also said he did not trust President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. 

“I don’t trust Erdoğan, his aims are different. I don’t think he is concerned about Turkey’s well-being, his only aim is to sit in that seat,” he said, adding that “Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım isn’t a prime minister because he doesn’t have a function.”  

In the meeting, Kılıçdaroğlu also talked about the arrests of opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) lawmakers, including its co-chairs, Selahattin Demirtaş and Figen Yüksekdağ. 

The CHP head drew reaction from the government and the MHP after issuing a statement saying those elected should only be removed from their posts through elections. 

“There is a special effort to make us seem together with the HDP. I didn’t use the word ‘HDP’ when I was talking about arrested lawmakers. It’s not in the statement we issued,” he said. 

The CHP leader also said the CHP should conduct efforts to gain votes from the districts that don’t vote for them and talked about the practices inside his party, mainly alcohol consumption. Arguing the CHP was not exerting enough effort to gain votes, Kılıçdaroğlu characterized this as the party’s “biggest shortcoming.” 

“This is our biggest shortcoming. We go to restaurants at night and start to drink. We save Turkey at the raki table, but there’s nothing that we remember the next day. Of course alcoholic beverages will be consumed, but we need to think about Turkey’s future,” he said.