No need for constitutional change to remove deficiencies of presidential system: Parliament speaker
The strength and prestige of the parliament are not faltered in the new presidential system; on the contrary, it will enhance in time, Parliament Speaker Mustafa Şentop said on July 26 in response to claims that the new administrative system in Turkey makes parliament less effective.
Elaborating on a possible revision to correct some deficiencies in the new administrative system, Şentop said there is no need for a change in the constitution, as presidential degrees and laws would be sufficient to restore the functionality.
“I believe that there is no constitutional issue regarding the Presidential Government System. But other than that, changes in the sub-legislation that can be made by law and the presidential decree may always be possible,” he told a group of journalists at a press gathering.
Asked about the impact of the June 23 Istanbul local elections results, which the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) lost against the main opposition party candidate, on the debate of efficiency of the presidential system, Şentop said he was not of the opinion that outcome of the local elections will cause the end of the presidential system.
Criticisms of the new presidential system are not about the system itself but concerning its practices, the speaker said. Asked about the possibility of a bipartisan president initiative by the AKP to enhance the efficiency of the new system, the speaker said the new constitutional amendment does not prevent such a model.
“There is no restriction that a president will not be chair of a political party,” he said.
The parliament speaker recalled that the role of the president in the new system is a combination of the prime ministry and presidency positions of the former administrative system. The president’s duties are more like the ones of the former system’s prime minister, he noted.
On the question of the possibility of early elections Şentop said, “Politically and legally I see the possibility of an election decision zero.” According to the new constitution, it’s hard to call a snap election, he said, recalling that the president can take such a decision, but in that case, he has to waste a period of one of his terms.
“In the previous system, the parliament was in a multipartite structure,” and the practice of an early election was an outcome of that system, he said, referring to current alliances among political parties in the parliament.