Maintain your impartiality: Main opposition leader tells provincial governors
İZMİRMain opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has called on provincial governors to maintain impartiality during the April 16 referendum campaigns.
“I’m calling on all governors; keep your impartiality. Don’t force citizens to vote ‘yes’ or ‘no’ in the referendum,” Kılıçdaroğlu said after a meeting with the representatives of non-governmental organizations in the Aegean province of İzmir on March 4, stressing that some governors had lost impartiality during the campaign process.
“If you are the governor of a province then you should act so in an impartial and honest way. You should not force citizens to vote ‘yes.’ You are not going to summon village heads and say ‘Look, if you don’t say yes in the referendum, then you will receive no service tomorrow.’ This is what they do. They also have to know what will happen to them tomorrow,” he said.
Turkey will hold a referendum on April 16 to decide whether to change the government system into an executive presidency that seeks to give vastly enhanced powers to the president or to protect the current parliamentary system.
The “yes” vote is endorsed by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), while the CHP and the opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) are campaigning against the changes.
Kılıçdaroğlu said citizens should be informed that they will not vote for parties in the referendum, adding that citizens should be asked the question “Do you want a party leader to appoint judges to courts?”
He said judicial independence would be removed if the “yes” votes prevailed.
The proposed increase of the number of deputies in parliament to 600 from 500 must be questioned by every citizen, according to Kılıçdaroğlu. He said that it was not understood what the 600 lawmakers would do in parliament, adding that the “realities” regarding the regulations are not yet known by the electorate.
“We won’t say the changes to each other, but to citizens. We will not tell them in our geography only, but in slums and everywhere. We will tell the citizens who say they are disinterested in these. Then we will make Turkey a country where democratic standards are really prevailing,” he said.