Presidency mulling steps to take if system change approved in Turkey’s referendum
Nuray Babacan - ANKARA
AA photoThe Presidency is already preparing a to-do list to immediately carry out certain regulations stated in the constitutional amendment ushering in a shift to an executive presidency in the event that the system change is approved in the referendum on April 16.
According to the presidential sources, if the amendment passes in the referendum, the first move of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) will be to formally re-establish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s link with the AKP.
In order to do this, an extraordinary congress will be convened to elect Erdoğan as the leader of the AKP, three years after he left the chairmanship. Erdoğan, the founding leader of the AKP, ruled the party until he was elected president in mid-2014.
After taking the party leadership back, Erdoğan will be able to convene the AKP’s parliamentary group and address AKP lawmakers on a weekly basis. He will also work at the AKP headquarters as party leader once a week.
According to the AKP’s plan, Erdoğan will also attend general assembly meetings in parliament both as a president and as leader of the AKP.
Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım, meanwhile, will continue in his post until the next parliamentary elections.
If the public approves the constitutional changes, the presidency will be re-designed in accordance with two vice presidents, with offices for those two vice presidents and their staff.
The AKP is considering possible early elections in the event of both results of the referendum, including holding an early election in November 2017 if the public does not vote for the amendment “in order regain the public’s trust.”
If the public votes in favor of the changes, the relevant legislation is planned to be completed within six months, following by a possible early election again in November 2017.
The most important subject in the preparation of an early election will be the passing of an election act at parliament, which would require parliament to work all summer.