Erdoğan has own agenda on possible coalition: CHP

Erdoğan has own agenda on possible coalition: CHP

Erdoğan has own agenda on possible coalition: CHP

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A senior executive of the Republican People’s Party (CHP), whose leader is scheduled to hold a key meeting with the incumbent prime minister on Aug. 13 for forming a coalition government, has claimed that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has his “own agenda” on the issue, regardless of what the meetings yield.

The CHP side will exert all kinds of constructive efforts at the Aug. 13 meeting between its leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu and Justice and Development Party (AKP) leader, Prime Minister Davutoğlu, said Deputy Parliamentary Group Chair Özgür Özel on Aug. 12.

“We want it to be for the good of the country, but the president strictly saying before tomorrow’s meeting that he would not be able to stretch out the only flexible article of the constitution shows he has a plan of his own,” Özel said at a press conference. He was referring to remarks delivered by Erdoğan claiming that he does not have any authority to extend the approaching deadline for the forming of a new coalition.

“The CHP has plans for the country, it doesn’t have plans only about itself and it doesn’t at all intend to be a part of somebody else’s plan,” Özel said.

“It is obvious that [Erdoğan] has a calendar on his mind, wants to act according to that calendar and, from what he said yesterday, will try to carry out something he has on his mind on the 45th day,” he added. 

When asked whether he planned to use his authority to extend the deadline for ongoing coalition efforts, Erdoğan denied that he had such authority. 

Özel, however, suggested that the wording of the related article of the constitution was flexible, unlike what Erdoğan said. 

“[The article] doesn’t say he ‘calls’ for elections, it says ‘he may call’ for election,” Özel said, referring to the Article 116 of the constitution, which states: “If a new Council of Ministers cannot be formed within 45 days [of parliamentary elections] … without being defeated by a vote of confidence, the President of the Republic may likewise, in consultation with the President of the Turkish Grand National Assembly, call for new elections.” 

“If there is flexibility in the constitution, there cannot be any other article that is more flexible than this one.

Saying ‘I don’t have the chance to extend the deadline’ for one of rare flexible articles in the constitution is very noteworthy. [The article] could be interpreted in this way only by Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who finds himself able to extend the limits of the constitution on any issue he wants, who is criticized for not acting within constitutional limits, who defends himself by saying ‘I’m elected by the people, of course I will behave beyond limits drawn up by the constitution,’ and who can even violate the constitutional impartiality of the president by holding rallies before the election,” Özel added.