MHP calls AKP to end systemic confusion by introducing own charter draft to Parliament

MHP calls AKP to end systemic confusion by introducing own charter draft to Parliament

MHP calls AKP to end systemic confusion by introducing own charter draft to Parliament

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The public must be the final arbiter of whether Turkey shifts to an executive presidential system in a referendum, Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) head Devlet Bahçeli has suggested, even while expressing his support for the current parliamentary system.
“The MHP will be respectful of any decision. We favor strengthening the current system. But we won’t object if the people decide otherwise,” Bahçeli told his parliamentary group on Oct. 11.

“We will respect the decision of the Turkish people on the presidential system. The AK Party [Justice and Development Party] should introduce its own constitutional draft to parliament. This draft will either be approved if it garners 367 votes or will be taken to a referendum if it gets more than 330 votes [but less than 367],” he said.

Bahçeli made the statement after he criticized President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for violating the constitution by creating a de facto presidential system, casting a shadow on his impartiality by seeking votes for the AKP. 

“The constitution is being violated and therefore a crime is being committed,” he said. “In order to avoid any constitutional breach, Mr. President should abandon insisting on a de facto presidential system. If he does not abandon it, the ways and methods to legalize this de facto situation should be swiftly sought.” 

This statement was interpreted as indirect support to the AKP, whose oft-repeated objective is to impose a presidential system. 

“This should be your own comment,” Bahçeli said to a journalist who asked whether his remarks should be seen as support for the ruling party’s line on the presidential system. 

The AKP has 316 seats in parliament and requires at least 14 additional votes to be able to put any constitutional amendment to a referendum. 

Bahçeli recalled that three political parties, the MHP, AKP and Republican People’s Party (CHP), have agreed on a small-scale charter change that contains seven articles. “Taking into account 60 previously agreed articles, one can see that we have come to an important stage for a new constitution. The MHP will always favor talking about anything deemed to be in the interest of the Turkish people.” 

Early election not supported 

Asked whether the MHP foresaw a snap election, Bahçeli said his party would not support such an idea. “Talking about holding early elections under the state of emergency circumstances would further complicate the situation in Turkey. Those who talk about it are those who are seeking instability in Turkey.”