Turkish opposition unites against presidential system

Source:Ahval News Date:12Jan2020

Opposition to the presidential system has become a flag for disparate opposition parties represented in parliament to rally around, and an issue where there is rare agreement.

The two new emerging parties have also stressed their desire to reboot the parliamentary system. This was one of the main issues Davutoğlu discussed when he introduced his new party in December. It is also high among the demands of Babacan, who believes the parliament’s recovery is vital to rebuilt the separation of powers in Turkey.

Political circles in Ankara say there is also rising discontent with the presidential system within the AKP.

Some say that Erdoğan himself regrets the transition to the new system and the heightened requirement of taking more than 50 percent of the vote to maintain the presidency, which has left him beholden to his electoral allies in the far-right Nationalist Movement Party. The Turkish leader has already assigned his vice president, Fuat Oktay, with the task of researching the new system to come up with a list of possible tweaks.

But as this research takes place, there is already legal action underway that could return the country to the old parliamentary system. Turkey’s Constitutional Court, the country’s highest legal body, is presiding over a case that says the referendum that led to the presidential system was held illegally. The opposition has raised questions over the events on election day, when the electoral board announced midway through the count that it would accept votes that did not bear a special security seal.