US system too limiting for Turkey: President

US system too limiting for Turkey: President

US system too limiting for Turkey: President

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan says presidential system in the US is ‘too tight.’ AA Photo

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who is seeking a large majority for his former Justice and Development Party (AKP) at the upcoming general elections in order to secure a shift from the parliamentary to a presidential system, has said the example of the U.S. system is “too tight” for Turkey.
“They say the president wants to remove the system of checks and balances. Never! There is a two-house system in the U.S. But this is too protected. We want it to be one house,” Erdoğan said, addressing members of the Confederation of Turkish Tradesmen and Craftsmen at the presidential palace in Ankara on Feb. 4.

“As Turkey gets stronger, new needs emerge … The current administrative structure is too tight for Turkey. We have to move beyond this,” he added.

The AKP needs to win at least 330 seats in Turkey’s 550-seat parliament in order to secure enough votes for a constitutional change. However, the elections on June 7 will see the party racing without him in charge for the first time after his election as president in August 2014. 

Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu will be leading the AKP during the election campaign. 

“June 7 is the day when our people will show their will for the new Turkey,” Erdoğan said, calling on citizens to vote for the party in order to secure the majority that will be able to change the constitution, despite resistance from opposition political parties.

“Isn’t the U.S. an advanced democracy? So how is it ruled? With the presidential system,” he added. 
“We will pursue a new constitution and presidential system, as we believe Turkey needs a fundamental change,” Erdoğan said, adding that there were “no preconditions in discussions on the constitution and presidential system” and calling on everyone to “put forward their opinions.”

“All opinions will be discussed and in the end our people will make the final decision,” he said. 

The president also stressed again that these were not new issues and were also promises made in his presidential election last year.

Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu vowed on Feb. 3 that the presidential system will not come into existence as long as his party exists, with the two other opposition parties also strongly criticizing the attempts. 

However, Erdoğan noted that Alparslan Türkeş, the late leader of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), was also a supporter of the presidential system, in contradiction with the party’s current stance.