New political system ensures diversity between president and parliament: AKP deputy
ANKARAClaiming that the constitutional amendment pushed by the government encourages “political diversity” between the president and the parliamentary majority, ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) deputy Mustafa Şentop has refuted opposition concerns that the proposed system will lead to more authoritarianism in Turkey.
“With the presidential system that we propose, we think the fact that a president is elected directly by the public will probably weaken the possibility of the president’s party winning a parliamentary majority,” said Şentop, who is the chair of parliament’s constitution committee.
He said the system foreseen by the new amendment would therefore ultimately leave room for political diversity between the president and the parliamentary majority.
“This might not happen in the first election, but we believe the differentiation between the legislative and executive branches will change and affect the majority once the system starts to work,” he added on Jan. 13.
Şentop’s comments came after the opposition criticized the article in the constitutional amendment regulating the presidential and parliamentary election being held on the same day.
The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) argues that by holding two elections at the same time, the president will ensure a parliamentary majority for their preferred party as they will campaign simultaneously. This will compromise the possibility of effective opposition in the country, it states.
However, Şentop claimed that the reason for the AKP’s proposal to hold simultaneous elections was to ensure “harmony between the legislative and the executive.”
“With the model we propose, the president - which we call ‘cumhurbaşkanı’ [president of the public] - constitutes the executive body and will be elected in a separate election. The president will not receive legitimacy through the parliament and will not account for the parliament. That is the meaning of a presidential system,” he added.