Turkish opposition mulling road map for system change: CHP chair
SERKAN DEMİRTAŞ - ANKARA
The Nation Alliance, made up of opposition parties, should soon start working on the details of the improved parliamentary system in a bid to abandon the executive presidential system, the head of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) has said, claiming the next elections will constitute an historic milestone for Turkish democracy.
“The idea of the adoption of a strengthened parliamentary system is maturing at the Nation Alliance. Each political party of the alliance has established teams to work on that matter. I believe we should be able to come together to discuss our own works and to outline a common blueprint,” CHP Chair Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu told the Ankara bureau chiefs of newspapers in a year-end press conference on Dec. 25 in Ankara.
The Nation Alliance is composed of the CHP, the İYİ (Good) Party, the Felicity Party and the Democrat Party. The newly founded Future Party by Ahmet Davutoğlu, a former prime minister, and Democracy and Progress Party (DEVA) by Ali Babacan, a former deputy prime minister, are also believed to join the opposition alliance. It was formed after the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) had formed the People’s Alliance.
Although the People’s Alliance underlines the presidential and parliamentary elections will be held on time, in June 2023, Kılıçdaroğlu predicts that they will be held much earlier than the scheduled date as the government will “no longer be able to run the country.” “We want elections to be held soon because we observe that the costs the people will pay because of this government are on the rise,” he said.
Principles are important
Kılıçdaroğlu reiterated that the next election will not be an ordinary vote in which the people will decide who will be in power and who will be in opposition. “These elections will mean a complete renewal of the system. Turkey will renew its foreign policy, its economy and its social policies and etc.,” he suggested.
As the Nation Alliance is based on compromise and democratic culture, the presidential candidate will be selected through consultations, Kılıçdaroğlu said, recalling that no opposition leader has personal ambitions.
“In the system we are proposing, the president will have a symbolic power. The elected president should know that his or her powers will be transferred to the government and the parliament in around one-and-a-half year. That’s why principles that we will announce will be more important than the candidate,” he stated.
“We will bring democracy to this country through democratic means. We will not marginalize anybody or any group while drafting the new constitution. It will be the first democratically initiated constitution since the foundation of the republic. That’s why we deem the next elections as an historic milestone for democracy,” Kılıçdaroğlu added.
Turkey should abide by ECHR ruling
On an ongoing discussion following the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruling that Turkey should immediately release former Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) co-leader Selahattin Demirtaş from prison, Kılıçdaroğlu urged the government that it should abide by the European court’s verdict. “If the government does not implement this ruling, it will further isolate Turkey from the contemporary world. Its rhetoric on democratic reforms will be disregarded,” he said. “In fact, the non-implementation of this ruling will not be surprising as they have not implemented the decisions of the Constitutional Court either.”