PM, MHP leader to meet on constitution

PM, MHP leader to meet on constitution

PM, MHP leader to meet on constitution

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Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıdlrım and opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli are expected to meet on Dec. 1 to discuss a new constitution that is being drafted with contributions from the latter. 

Ruling Justice and Development Party deputy head and spokesperson Yasin Aktay said on Nov. 30 that a document that had been agreed upon might be “announced” at the end of the meeting to be held at the Çankaya mansion. 

“It is a revision that is concentrated totally on the governance system. It will still be called the presidential [system], and it will continue as a presidential system, but technically it will be a draft that will have necessary changes,” said Aktay. 

Before the leaders’ meeting was announced on Nov. 30, a draft that was revised by the AKP members in line with MHP points was sent to the party’s Afyonkarahisar deputy Mehmet Parsak. After working on the AKP’s draft with his party colleagues, Parsak submitted it to Bahçeli.  

Parsak, who is steering the talks between the two parties, said they were not gathering around the table with “the logic of Aristotle, who said, ‘This is either right or wrong,’ but with quantum logic that says, ‘Both of these are right, but which one is righter?’”

Parsak also said his party was working neither with the approach of trying to tackle the process, nor with the approach of fixing everything to solve the problem. 

Parsak also said all of the clauses were intertwined.

The AKP is seeking support from the MHP in order to win the necessary parliamentary approval draft before taking it to a referendum.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the AKP argue Turkey needs the strong leadership of an executive presidency, akin to the system in the United States or France, to avoid the fragile coalition governments that have allegedly hampered development in the past.

On Nov. 28 AKP member conditional commission head Mustafa Şentop said his party would submit the draft to parliament within two weeks.

Speaking during his party’s parliamentary group meeting on Nov. 29, Bahçeli said the two parties had agreed to most of the draft other than several points, adding that he anticipated that the draft would soon be on parliament’s agenda.

“Soon, after some disagreements are eliminated, I think the draft will be introduced to parliament,” Bahçeli said, adding that he and Yıldırım would meet to tackle the problems as soon as possible.

Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım also said on Nov. 29 that he would meet with Bahçeli one last time and then introduce the draft to the parliament.  

“After one last meeting [with Bahçeli], we will introduce the constitutional amendment to the parliament speaker’s office as a proposal of the [ruling Justice and Development Party] AKP group. If the MHP would like, we can submit it together,” Yıldırım said in an address to his party’s group in parliament on Nov. 29.