Amid recent debates initiated by main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) Chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu on whether the Justice and Development Party's (AK Party) proposal for a presidential system will mean a regime change, Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım said that regime change debates ended in 1923 when the Republic of Turkey was formed.
"Turkey chose "Republic" as a regime. There is no change to the regime. The only change will be to the government system," said Yıldırım, responding to Kılıçdaroğlu's remarks yesterday in Istanbul, and added that there is no need to exaggerate the matter.
Highlighting that the presidential system will be similar to municipality elections in which voters elect the mayor and the municipal council, Yıldırım criticized the CHP leader for instilling unnecessary fear in the eyes of the people by portraying the matter as a regime.
"People will elect the president and parliamentarians on the same day. They will serve at the same time. That is all," the prime minister said and added that one of the most important elements of the new system would be the absence of coalition governments. "The presidential system will mean an absolute government and strong political will," Yıldırım said.
According to AK Party sources, the draft proposal allows the president to be simultaneously the chairman of a political party and to participate in all party events and meetings. However, the president would not be able to join group meetings in Parliament or attend the general assembly and will only be allowed to give a speech at the beginning of each year's legislative sessions. In addition, the president will not have an office in Parliament's compound. Meanwhile, only party members or members of Parliament will be able to propose amendments, as the government will not be allowed to participate in or interfere with the legislature. Due to this reason, ministers will also be barred from parliamentary functions.
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