Ruling AKP vocal for presidential system in run-up to August vote
Erdoğan has long pushed for a constitutional amendment to introduce a presidential system. REUTERS Photo / Ümit BektaşA leading member of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), who is also the deputy speaker of Parliament, has once again repeated the party’s aspirations to implement a presidential system in Turkey.
“I am a deputy of the party. The presidential system exists both in our party program and in our discussions. It is not a recent idea; we had the idea of bringing the presidential system in the past too,” Deputy Parliament Speaker Sadık Yakut said on July 22, in response to a question from a member of a delegation from the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE).
The PACE delegation is in Turkey for a visit ahead of the first round of the presidential election on Aug. 10, and is assessing the country's current electoral framework and official campaigns.
Yakut’s remarks came after a member of the delegation asked whether a proposal to formally change Turkey into an "executive presidency" could receive enough support when brought to the floor of Parliament.
“It can be installed without the need for a referendum if it receives a two-thirds majority at Parliament. To bring it to referendum, it needs to have a three-fifths majority. Our thought and target with regard to the 2015 parliamentary election, if a three-fifths majority is provided by winning 330 deputies, is of course to consider installing the presidential system,” Yakut replied.
Erdoğan and his AKP have long pushed for a constitutional amendment that would either introduce a presidential system or a partisan-presidential system, in which the president-elect does not have to severe his party affiliation. However, all efforts have so far failed due to the opposition’s refusal to cooperate on such an amendment.