Turkish Opposition Holds Rally Over Gov't Plans to Shift to Presidential System
Turkey's main opposition Republican People's Party held a rally in southern city of Adana against the government's intention to amend the constitution, aimed at replacing the parliamentary republic by the presidential system.
ANKARA (Sputnik) – In November, the CHP announced plans to hold nationwide rallies in protest to the government's intention to change the constitution.
"The philosophy of the republic should be important for us, because those people, who built it, paid a high price in order to leave a better Turkey for their children and grandchildren. That is why we must take care of it. We will defend the democratic parliamentary system. It is unacceptable when one person says – 'I have the majority, and I will change the system.'" CHP leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu said at a meeting.
In November, Turkey's Forestry and Water Affairs Minister Veysel Eroglu said that a new constitution draft, elaborated by the Turkish ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), was likely to be put to a referendum next spring.
Under the new constitution there would be no prime minister in the political system, while the president would be a member of a political party.
The draft is supported by the AKP, holding 316 seats, and the MHP, with 40 seats in the parliament. The CHP and pro-Kurdish People's Democratic Party (HDP) oppose the initiative, blaming President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for seeking to establish a one-man rule.
In order to secure a referendum to replace the parliamentary republic by the presidential system, the constitutional draft needs 330 votes, while it could pass directly without a referendum if approved by more than 367 parliamentarians. However, the AKP announced it would take the constitution to a referendum in any case.
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