No problems in constitution talks with government: MHP head Bahçeli
ANKARAThere are “no problems” in the constitution talks between Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım and Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) head Devlet Bahçeli, the latter has said, responding to speculation on disagreements between the sides in the ongoing negotiations.
“There are no problems,” Bahçeli said late on Dec. 5 after a surprise meeting with Yıldırım that lasted for 15 minutes.
Commenting on the meeting between himself and Bahçeli late on Dec. 5, Yıldırım said they “chatted for a while and then parted.”
“I went to Mr. Bahçeli for tea, we had tea, chatted for a while and then we left. We have spoken about these issues before. In accordance with the agreement we reached, our friends from both parties are carrying out technical efforts in line with the party heads’ orders and directions,” he added.
Meanwhile, the prime minister also stated that the president will remain linked to their party in the new political system recommended by the government.
“The president’s connection to his party will continue,” Yıldırım told reporters on the plane to Russia on Dec. 6, adding that there is “increasing support for the presidential system” among the public.
“The important issue is that when a president is elected, his connection to his party is cut under the current constitution. This is going to be canceled. The president’s connection to his party will continue,” he also said.
Lawmakers will continue to propose draft laws in the new system, Yıldırım added.
“Only the budget will be submitted by the president. But to implement his powers, the president will have the authority to issue decrees. Parliament will retain its legislative power,” he said, adding that the areas in which presidential decrees can be issued will have already been determined.
Yıldırım also commented on the talks between himself and Bahçeli, stating that 12 main articles are being discussed in the new charter draft.
Asked when the draft will be presented to parliament, Yıldırım said the presentation will be made this week.
He had earlier said the proposal will be presented to parliament after he gets back from Russia.
“God willing, if there is no obstacle, we will present the draft to parliament this week,” Yıldırım told reporters on Dec. 5 before heading to Moscow.
Yıldırım and MHP head Bahçeli had announced that the two parties had agreed on the constitutional amendment draft on Dec. 1, while noting that there are minor changes to tackle before submitting it to parliament.
The charter will be introduced to the parliamentary constitution committee and after evaluation by the commission is finalized it will be submitted to parliament’s general assembly.
The voting process at the general assembly will have two stages. In the first stage, all articles will be discussed by lawmakers one by one, while voting will take place in the second stage after the discussions have concluded.
Some 330 lawmakers have to vote “yes” to bring a constitutional change to a referendum. With 316 seats in parliament, the AKP needs 14 additional votes, and the MHP has 40 seats.