MHP leader calls on PM Erdoğan to resign immediately in case of presidential candidacy
The two-round elections, during which Turks will directly vote for the president for the first time, are scheduled to take place on Aug. 10 and Aug. 24. AA PhotoNationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli has maintained his stance that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan should resign from his post should he run for presidency.
According to Bahçeli, Erdoğan does not fit the presidential office for the Republic of Turkey and should immediately resign from his post as soon as the presidential election calendar starts, if he is insistent on running for presidency.
Still, Bahçeli called on Erdoğan to review his plans for ascending to the presidential Çankaya Palace and abandon this idea.
“If Prime Minister Erdoğan becomes a candidate, if he has made his decision on the issue, then he should immediately resign as soon as the presidential election calendar starts. The office of the Prime Ministry and the office of the presidency cannot be morally conducted together,” Bahçeli said on May 7, delivering a speech at a delayed weekly meeting of his party’s parliamentary group.
The meeting, which was originally scheduled to take place on May 6, was postponed due to a May 5 General Assembly session at the Parliament that lasted 16 hours and during which lawmakers decided to set up a single inquiry commission to investigate corruption allegations on four former ministers of Erdoğan’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government.
Earlier this week, Bahçeli already suggested that the opposition should unite behind one candidate in the presidential election in August to stop the ruling party’s candidate.
“The use of the state’s opportunities [by Erdoğan for presidential electioneering] is not compatible with a fair, democratic competition,” Bahçeli said.
“According to us, the presidency should not be turned into an issue of political obstinacy. Erdoğan especially should revise his plans for ascending to Çankaya and give up this eagerness,” he added.
According to Bahçeli, certain leading AKP executives have already indicated that they would rather prefer a passive prime minister instead of having current President Abdullah Gül, Erdoğan’s long-time comrade, as prime minister if Erdoğan is elected president.
“As far as we have understood from the developments, Erdoğan has parted ways with Mr. Gül, whom he calls ‘My brother.’ This time, he prioritized ‘the [presidential] seat’ instead of friendship by saying ‘I will ascend to Çankaya,” and turned his back on his brother,” he said.
During the speech, Bahçeli constantly argued that Erdoğan’s background and political history by no means allow his candidacy for presidency, since that post cannot be occupied by someone whose government has been facing allegations of bribery and corruption.
The two-round elections, during which Turks will directly vote for the president for the first time, are scheduled to take place on Aug. 10 and Aug. 24.
The electioneering calendar to which Bahçeli referred will begin after the temporary candidate lists for presidency are published on July 8 with the final candidate lists published on July 11 in the Official Gazette, as announced by the Supreme Election Board (YSK).