What if president comes from opposition party, Turkey’s main opposition leader asks
SAKARYAMain opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) chair Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has questioned what would happen in the event that the president is elected from an opposition party if the constitutional changes are approved in the April 16 referendum, state-run Anadolu Agency reported on March 8.
He was speaking after he was criticized for questioning what would happen if the president and prime minister fail to agree in the new system, despite the fact that the amendment abolishes the position of prime minister.
“Let’s say an election is held and a party wins a majority in parliament. In today’s system, this party’s chair should be the prime minister. But let’s say that party won a majority but could not reach 51 percent, while in the presidential election a president is elected from another party that does not hold the parliamentary majority. Will this president then work harmoniously with the majority party?” Kılıçdaroğlu said, trying to explain his earlier comments.
He was speaking alongside CHP deputy Engin Özkoç and CHP provincial head Ayça Taşkent during a visit to the Marmara province of Sakarya, where he was questioned by a local man about his apparent earlier gaff.
Meanwhile, speaking in Ankara, CHP Deputy Group Chair Levent Gök blasted the criticisms of Kılıçdaroğlu’s comments.
“Accusing Kılıçdaroğlu over this is baseless and unfair,” Gök said.
He was responding to journalists’ questions after comments from President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, in which he mocked the CHP head by saying: “If you gave him [Kılıçdaroğlu] five sheep and five goats, he will lose them.”
Gök said this rhetoric was “not suitable for a president,” adding that the president should be responsible for amity and order in the country, addressing conflicts between parties.
The CHP deputy group chair also responded to harsh criticism from Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli, who backs the government and Erdoğan in supporting the constitutional amendments.
Gök noted that the grassroots of the MHP were criticizing Bahçeli for his stance in supporting the government.
“Bahçeli’s rhetoric is not political rhetoric. We repay his words in kind,” he added.