Main opposition to ask President Gül to leave post
ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily NewsThe main opposition said yesterday it would issue a call on President Abdullah Gül to resign when he completes five years in office, as Parliament debated a controversial government-sponsored bill to fix Gül’s term to seven years.
“If the draft is approved as it is, we will call on President Gül to step down Aug. 28, 2012, in line with the Constitution. A two-year extension will put Mr. Gül into a questionable position,” Akif Hamzaçebi of the Republican People’s Party (CHP) said.
Gül was elected for a single seven-year term in 2007, but under constitutional amendments approved at a referendum, presidents became entitled to once-renewable, five-year terms. The opposition argues Gül should be bound by the amendments.
Faruk Bal of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) protested fixing Gül’s term to seven years would amount to changing the Constitution by the way of a law. Adil Kurt of the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) argued the bill was tailor-made to pave the way for Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to ascend to the presidency in 2014 and “eliminate” Gül as a potential contender. The debate was still underway when the Hürriyet Daily News went to print.