Opposition leaders meet for ‘strengthened parliamentary system’

Opposition leaders meet for ‘strengthened parliamentary system’

Opposition leaders meet for ‘strengthened parliamentary system’

The leaders of six Turkish opposition parties held their first meeting on Feb. 12 to discuss the results of an ongoing joint work to introduce a “strengthened parliamentary system” if they come to power in the next elections.

They evaluated the results of a draft on the return to the parliamentary system and the next steps on how to make it public, along with a road map that they will be followed for the next elections.

A statement released after the meeting said that the “strengthened parliamentary system” memorandum of understanding will be made public by the leaders on Feb. 28 and work on the roadmap for the transition process will continue.

The invitation for the meeting was extended by main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) chair Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu to İYİ (Good) Party chair Meral Akşener, Felicity Party leader Temel Karamollaoğlu, Democrat Party leader Gültekin Uysal, Democracy and Progress (DEVA) Party leader Ali Babacan and Future Party leader Ahmet Davutoğlu.

“As six political parties, the common responsibility of all of us is to overcome this crisis by reconciliation and unity, and to solve our deep problems on the basis of pluralism by expanding the field of democratic politics,” said the statement.

With exactly this belief and determination, the parties said, they carried out intensive work on the a consensus text for the new system in order to strengthen the democratic state of law, as well as to strengthen the legislative, executive and judicial organs. “We are based on consultation and reconciliation, not polarization,” read the statement.

They also agreed on the roadmap of the transition process to be studied and shared with citizens.

“The important thing is to build a democratic Turkey where fundamental rights and freedoms are guaranteed within the framework of the Council of Europe and European Union norms, where everyone sees themselves as an equal and free citizen, where they can freely express their thoughts and live as they believe,” it said.

On the other hand, their goal was ensuring transparency, equality, impartiality and merit in public administration, fighting corruption effectively, and ensuring that political authorities have no other purpose than serving the nation with the political ethics law, said the statement.

The CHP, the İYİ Party, the Felicity Party and the Democrat Party formally make up the Nation Alliance, which had run with joint candidates in the local elections in 2019. Babacan and Davutoğlu have not yet joined the alliance but are working with them for the return to the parliamentary system.

Turkey will go to the presidential and parliamentary elections in June 2023, but the opposition believes the government will prefer to hold them later this year, probably in the autumn. Kılıçdaroğlu, in an interview on Feb. 11, predicted that the polls might take place in autumn this year as the government would want to avoid the negative economic and social consequences of another harsh winter to reflect onto voter sentiment.