Ruling AKP to offer membership to President Erdoğan after April 27
ANKARAThe group deputy spokesperson of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), Mustafa Elitaş, said the party may offer President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan membership after April 27 or 28.
With “yes” votes gaining the majority in the April 16 constitutional referendum, the way for Erdoğan to return to lead the AKP, something that was officially forbidden in the former system due to the constitutional impartiality of the president, was opened.
Erdoğan will be able to return after the official results of the referendum are published in the Official Gazette.
Elitaş also commented on the results of the referendum, saying that Turkey “passed to a new governance system.”
“The citizens are now able to express the intention of their votes to the party representative who comes to them without worrying about anybody. Such things weren’t quite said until today,” Elitaş told private broadcaster NTV on April 17, as he added that gaining 51.4 percent of the “yes” votes was a significant development.
“When the constitutional change was voted in parliament, some 339 lawmakers said ‘yes’ to it. We said, ‘The decision and the word belong to the people.’ We didn’t feel the need to find out who voted ‘yes’ and who voted ‘no’ or how many AKP and MHP [Nationalist Movement Party] voters broke ranks to vote ‘no’ in the voting in parliament. 51.4 percent of the ‘yes’ votes are significant and this is not an issue of which party voted what,” he said.
Saying the MHP, the AKP and the Great Unity Party (BBP) presented a stance in support of the “yes” in the referendum, Elitaş noted that “it wasn’t a general election.”
“This is completely about the system. It’s useless to search what comes from which party,” he added.
Elitaş also commented on the Supreme Election Board’s (YSK) decision to accept unsealed ballot papers for the referendum, which raised criticism from the “no” camp.
“YSK head released its statement. He said, ‘We made our decision when the ballot boxes weren’t opened and the votes weren’t counted.’ If the decision was made after the votes were counted and the results were clear, then it could be controversial. However, the CHP [Republican People’s Party] is making excuses due to defeat. There were no objections. There is no need to extend these arguments via engaging in them,” he added.