Parliament Speaker dismisses opposition calls for early polls
HANDE FIRAT- ANKARA
There are no political and legal conditions for holding early polls, the parliament speaker has said, recalling that the government had changed the system into an executive-presidency model to avoid political instability in Turkey.
“We have changed the governance system to prevent early elections and for political stability. There are no legal and political conditions for holding early polls,” Mustafa Şentop told daily Hürriyet in an interview before the parliament resumes its works on Oct 1.
Turkey’s next presidential and parliamentary elections are going to take place in June 2023, but the oppositional parties frequently urge the government to advance the election date due to its inability to address the country’s fundamental problems.
On a question about the proposal by the Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) for lowering the election threshold from current 10 percent to 7 percent, Şentop said that the opposition parties could also contribute to these two parties’ efforts to amend the Election Law.
“It’s not correct to discuss the election system only over the threshold. A holistic approach is needed,” Şentop suggested, stressing he has no idea when a bill can be submitted to the parliament to this end.
On discussions about a new civilian constitution, Şentop underlined the fact that there was a general consensus on the need for a new constitution. “Neither its spirit nor it’s content of the current constitution suit Turkey. I know how it is difficult to reach a full compromise by all the parties. Commitment and sincerity are needed for making a new constitution. I am hopeful,” he stated.
The parliament speaker also answered a question about the ongoing closure case against the Peoples’ Democracy Party (HDP). Banning a political party is an issue covered by the constitution and Law on Political Parties and nobody can interfere in it, Şentop said, adding, “Accusations that a political party is the focal point of terrorist acts need careful consideration. The issue is on the agenda of the Constitutional Court. Political parties must keep a clear distance from terrorism and terrorist organizations, otherwise, the law will step in.”