Opposition has no name to win presidency: Turkish PM

Opposition has no name to win presidency: Turkish PM

ISTANBUL – Hürriyet Daily News
Opposition has no name to win presidency: Turkish PM

The opposition parties have no chance of winning the presidential polls that is why they oppose the presidential system, PM Erdoğan says. AA photo

Opposition parties are worried about the presidential system only because they are scared that their own presidential candidate will not be elected, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said during a speech in Istanbul today.

“The leaders of the two opposition parties [the main opposition Republican and People’s Party, or CHP, and the Nationalist Movement Party, or MHP] say the parliamentary system is sufficient and accuse us of seeking a Sultanate. They fear [the presidential system] because they worry that their candidates would not be elected,” Erdoğan told a meeting of the All Industrialist and Businessmen Association (TÜMSİAD). Erdoğan gave the examples of the United States, France, Germany and Russia saying that these countries had different types of presidential systems and adding that they also had functioning parliaments too.

The prime minister called on the CHP and the MHP to “work hard” to win the hearts of the people, rather than simply oppose the change. “You can make it, if you work hard,” he said.

Presidential system to end oligarchy: Erdoğan

 Erdoğan argued that the presidential system would ease the decision making process and would also end the “bureaucratic oligarchic” system. “What would come with the presidential system? It would easily stop the oligarchic system. It would be faster in taking decisions,” he said.

He said the “bureaucratic oligarchy” was a threat to development, suggesting that “a country cannot go anywhere if the bureaucrats cannot take the risks that politicians are taking” “We still have many obstacles [caused by bureaucrats]. We have to overcome this, but we cannot because the habits are too deep,” he said.

Erdoğan also said the government wanted to have a system in which the president would not have to leave his party after being elected. “We told [the opposition] that if you are against a presidential system, we could have a presidential system with parties, in other words a president affiliated to a party. Because it is not right if the president is not powerful,” said Erdoğan.

“If [the president’s] party stands behind him or her, then he or she will be more powerful when taking decisions. They said the president should not have power because the president is already the head of the executive. The president is the head of the executive, but does not have any party backing. This situation has to be corrected,” said Erdoğan, giving the example of France’s presidential system.

“We say let’s do this in Turkey, in order for there not to be any dual power system,” he added, referring to suggestions that the positions of prime minister and president currently create a damaging “dual power” system.

On the issue of the ongoing process to find a peaceful solution to the Kurdish issue, Erdoğan again said the number one aim was to put an end to bloodshed.

He reserved particular criticism for MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli’s remarks following his meeting with the 63-member of the Wise Persons Commission in Istanbul.

“I invite Bahçeli to remember his manners … Despite all your failures, you are still sitting in you chair, Mr. Bahçeli. But the main issue is not about having this chair, it is about having manners,” said Erdoğan.