Ruling AKP won’t press for presidential system: Çiçek
ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Parliament Speaker Çiçek chairs the Constitution Conciliation Commission. DHA photoA senior member of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has stated that should the Parliament’s Constitution Conciliation Commission reach full consensus on all articles, they would not be pressing for their presidential system proposal, a long time ambition of the AKP and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
The commission gathered on July 29, chaired by Parliament Speaker Cemil Çiçek. The remarks by AKP’s Ankara deputy Ahmet İyimaya, a member of the Constitution Conciliation Commission and also the head of the Parliament’s Justice Commission, came in response to reporters’ questions ahead of the meeting.
“If the high commission puts forward consensus on all articles except for the presidential system, it is not possible for us to assert the presidential system on that condition,” İyimaya said.
Speaking to reporters before the meeting, İyimaya stated that the Commission would debate drafts on judicial authority regarding fundamental rights and freedoms.
In response to a question on whether there was a chance for the 56 articles, that the Commission has so far reached agreement on, to be extended further, İyimaya sounded optimistic as he said: “I believe it could be gone beyond 56 articles. We have plenty of time ahead. There are articles that could be agreed on in other sections.”
“Our stance on this issue is clear. Our proposal of the presidential system is not an obstacle against redrafting of the Constitution. If the high commission puts forward consensus on all articles except for the presidential system, it is not possible for us to assert the presidential system on that condition. The problem we give preference to is that, we see the election of the President by the people as not a system problem, but a regime problem,” İyimaya said.
The writing of the Constitution remains a divisive issue, with criticism being raised from opposition benches regarding the lack of progress made. Opposition parties, particularly the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) maintain that the government’s insistence on the presidential system was harming the Commission’s work. The Peace and Democracy Party (BDP), for its part, argued that conditions in the country were actually ripe for the writing of a new Constitution, yet politicians languished behind the people’s will, as they only prioritized their electoral concerns.