Parliament Speaker sees no obstacle to Erdoğan’s candidacy

Parliament Speaker sees no obstacle to Erdoğan’s candidacy

Parliament Speaker sees no obstacle to Erdoğan’s candidacy

Parliament Speaker Mustafa Şentop has suggested that there is no legal obstacle in front of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s presidential candidacy after three oppositional parties appealed to the election watchdog for the annulment of Erdoğan’s bid on the grounds he has already been elected twice for the post.

“Here is the rule in law: A legal amendment can only be applicable to the future events. Following the constitutional amendments of 2018, Türkiye has only held one election. Our president was nominated and elected only once,” Şentop told reporters on March 28.

Türkiye amended the constitution through the 2017 referendum and shifted to an executive-parliamentary system after the amendments entered into force on April 30, 2018. The first elections after the amendments were held on June 24, 2018, and Erdoğan was elected as the head of the nation.

Şentop’s comments came after three oppositional parties applied to the Supreme Election Board (YSK) for the annulment of President Erdoğan’s candidacy as it will be his third. They say the constitution limits any person to be elected for the president only two times and each for five years. They recall that Erdoğan was elected as the president in 2014 and the article limiting any person with two terms had not been changed at that time and there was not any special clause for Erdoğan either.

“This is not a legal debate but a political one,” Şentop said.

The Good (İYİ) Party, the Democracy and Progress Party (DEVA) and the Homeland Party have tabled their appeals to the YSK after the election watchdog provisionally declared President Erdoğan as one of the four contenders of the presidential elections to be held on May 14.

Good Party spokesman Kürşad Zorlu, at a press conference late on March 27, recalled the constitutional amendment of 2007 that stipulates that any person can be elected for five years and only twice as the president.

“This article was preserved as it was during the 2017 constitutional amendment. Law on the presidential election says, ‘any person can be elected at most two times,’” Zorlu said, underlining that the latest amendment did not introduce any provisional article for the incumbent president at that time.

Likewise, the DEVA also appealed for the annulment of Erdoğan’s candidacy on the same grounds. DEVA’s spokesman İdris Şahin asked the YSK to drop Erdoğan from the temporary list of presidential candidates as his bid is in violation of the Turkish constitution.

The YSK has to respond to the appeals in 48 hours.