Opposition focusing on parliamentary polls

Published 07.05.2018 23:06

The opposition parties tried to come up with a joint candidate to counter President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in the June 24 presidential elections but failed. In fact they realized that, given the polls and the obvious popularity of the president, they had little or no chance to unseat him in the polls. So they decided on a second best solution, which is to jointly win a majority of the seats in the parliamentary elections and thus try to scuttle Erdoğan from Parliament.

So the left-wing Republican People's Party (CHP), the conservative Good Party (İP), the Islamist Conservative Saadet Party (SP) and the middle of the road Democrat Party (DP) ganged up together in an alliance which has only one thing in common: Deep animosity for Erdoğan.

So they feel that if they win enough seats in Parliament they can block laws, make life very hard for Erdoğan as president and supervise his administration. Some of these parties also say they will reverse the system and scrap the presidential system of government and go back to the old parliamentary system of administration.

Isn't it ironic that it was these people who opposed the constitutional changes of April 16, 2017 that ushered Turkey into a presidential system and allowed Parliament vast powers to control the government led by the president? At the time when we were pointing out to the merits of the constitutional changes they were trying to mislead the Turkish public claiming that the changes were undemocratic and would create a one-man rule in Turkey. Yet it is clear that Parliament does have a say over the president, Parliament is not as weak and lacks function as they claimed.

So now they are vesting their hopes on these changes, which they hope to use through democratic means to halt Erdoğan. So what was all that fuss about the constitutional changes being undemocratic? Why did western European nations, with the exception of Britain, gang up to actively rally against the constitutional changes in an unprecedented and in a very undemocratic manner? So the changes in Turkey were not so undemocratic after all.

What is sad is that the opposition does not have any agenda for the future of Turkey. They have ganged up to "get rid of Erdoğan" but they have not been able to come up with any meaningful road map for the future of the country while Erdoğan's ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) does have a road map, does have experience and the know-how to follow this map and Erdoğan himself is the driving force for new reforms and innovations.

The fact that AK Party has changed the face of Turkey in all aspects in the past 16 years shows to the people that they can still trust in Erdoğan to carry them ahead despite some ups and downs.

All the opposition parties have to offer is to reverse the system and go back to a parliamentary democracy. That is fine but it is mission impossible. You need to muster the support of at least 360 deputies in the 600 chamber of Parliament to change the constitution and then offer it to public approval in a referendum. You need 400 deputies to approve the changes without the need to call for a referendum. Is that possible when you have so many parties in Parliament with so many different agendas and a loose alliance with a left-wing party and three conservative mini parties with different views?

All this is empty talk. The opposition parties have to get their acts together and try to come up with some meaningful programs and projects that will convince the Turkish people that these politicians can serve the country in a viable manner.

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