Turkey's opposition vows to limit powers of president if elections won
The Turkish opposition alliance says they will revoke constitutional changes introduced by Turkish President Erdogan and restore democracy to the country's parliament.
Turkey's opposition alliance said on Monday that they will limit the authority of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and return democracy to the parliamentary institution in case they win the upcoming elections planned on May 14.
The alliance, consisting of six opposition parties, pledged to announce a joint candidate for the presidential position on February 13.
The upcoming elections are considered to be one of the most significant milestones in the past decades.
According to the coalition's proposals, Turkey would reactivate the position of the prime minister as head of the executive branch and provide it with a strong cabinet, while the position of the president will be largely symbolic and elected for one term every 7 years.
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In addition, the judicial system will be reformed in an effort to ensure the independence of the judiciary and a fair trial, and the Bar Association of Turkey will gain special status through the new charter.
"We will shift to a strengthened parliamentary system," the opposition's program says.
"We will put an end to the president's power to issue decrees."
Erdogan has been sitting in the country's top positions since 2003.
Starting as a prime minister, Turkey's leader was elected president in 2014 and has since introduced many laws that expand the position's authorities and jurisdiction, most notably in 2017 when he issued constitutional changes that granted him full power in the country.
Erdogan broadened his authority following a failed coup attempt in 2016 that almost placed the country's future in uncertainty.
CHP deputy leader Muharrem Erkek said last November that Turkey has been governed in accordance with the executive presidential system since 2018 and that all the country's problems are linked to the shortcomings of the system and called for changing it.
“Therefore we need to change the system. We will submit our proposals to the parliament right after the elections,” he stated then.
How does it work
Constitutional changes pursued by the opposition can be ratified if the parties were able to secure 400 out of the 600 votes in parliament.
However, if the alliance lands 360 votes, the changes will be then subjected to a national referendum.
The Turkish President lost the majority of the parliament in 2015 for the first time in 13 years and now counts on support from a far-right party.
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According to polls, the elections will result in a minority win for either alliance.
The opposition allies vowed to "urgently" introduce constitutional changes and "put an end to the vague and arbitrary restriction of the freedoms of assembly and demonstration."
"We will strengthen the freedoms of thought, opinion and expression."
In a ceremony, the opposition revealed their program in the presence of a crowd of supporters.
The program pledged to crack down on corruption in the country and reinstate the power of Turkey's institutions, including the state-owned media outlets TRT and Anadolu, to which the alliance said they would make them abide by "the principles of independence and impartiality."
The importance of restoring "mutual trust" with the US and attaining Turkey's long-desired goal of obtaining a "full membership in the European Union" are among the vows sought in the program.
"We will maintain relations with the Russian Federation with an understanding that both parties are equal and strengthened by balanced and constructive dialogue at the institutional level," the program stressed.
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