As Turkey heads toward a referendum on the constitutional amendment package foreseeing a presidential system, the ruling Justice and Development Party's (AK Party) Group Deputy Chairman Mustafa Elitaş announced that the party is set to establish a committee to follow the discourses and meetings during the referendum campaigning process.
Meanwhile, the AK Party focused on some principal points of the amendment package, including the presidential system and a two-term limit, as a strategy.
Deputy Chairman Mustafa Elitaş, indicating the organizational structure in the referendum process, stated that the members of a possible committee are currently undecided, however, the deputies taking responsibility in the committee are likely to be appointed by Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım.
Elitaş further pointed out that the content of the articles are clear, but the crucial point is to clarify the gains from the constitutional amendment to the public.
"Thus the AK Party must explain the advantages of the amendment package," he said.
In addition, Elitaş stated that the General Assembly will continue to work for one month or five weeks before the referendum day. Moreover, Elitaş said that once the constitutional amendment is sent to the office of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, following his return from his Africa visit, there will be an added 15-day approval period, allowing for the referendum date to be no later than April 16.
According to the sources close to the AK Party, the slogan that will be used during the referendum process will be, "I love Turkey, so I say yes to presidency system."
The fundamental elements were also decided for the referendum campaigning process. The party is expected to underline that this amendment package is only for the government system change, not for a regime change. The first four articles of the current Constitution regarding essential tenets of the Republic and the unitary state structure remains the same.
Within this process, AK Party officials have provided the perception to the public that there is no absolute link between the system of government and the unitary state structure.
Additionally, AK Party officials have a plan to affirm that a one-man rule will not emerge, so attention to the demands of the nation will come to the point because with the new package, institutional political stability and absolute sovereignty are under the constitutional guarantee. This comes with the obligation on the president, who is elected by at least 51 percent of the votes, and it will get its legitimacy from the nation. The further changes foreseeing a two-term limit for the president, which will help accelerate the innovation and transformation, is supposed to be explained by the AK Party officials. The new constitution provides no person aiming for one-man tutelage by contributing to instability to be in power.
After the completion of individual voting by the deputies in the General Assembly, the constitutional amendment package is expected to be sent to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for approval after he returns to the country from Africa.
After that, the package will most likely be put on the referendum as a whole and if it receives the majority's support, it is projected to start being implemented. In accordance with the new changes, the first presidential elections are expected to be held in 2019, on the same day as the parliamentary elections.
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