MHP backs reforms to boost Turkey's presidential system

DAILY SABAH WITH AA
ISTANBUL
Published 03.07.2019 00:15

The leader of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) said yesterday that his party would back legal and administrative reforms to strengthen the new presidential system.

"Whatever is needed will be done to strengthen the presidential system over the next four years, when there will be no elections," said Devlet Bahçeli at his party's parliamentary group meeting at the national assembly.

Bahçeli said his party would back legal and administrative reforms to the presidential system, which Turkey adopted in 2017.

"It will contribute to the positive work for the benefit of the country and the nation," said Bahçeli.

"Also, there will be no early elections. The election page has been closed until June 23, 2023," he added, referring to the next general elections.

Turkey will not turn back from the new presidential system, he said.

"Reopening debate over the presidential system will not benefit the country, nation, or democracy," he said.

In April 2017, Turkish voters voted to switch Turkey from a parliamentary system to an executive presidential system of governance.

Bahçeli also praised President Erdoğan's remarks during the G20 summit in Japan on possible U.S. sanctions on Turkey over its purchase of a Russian defense system.

"His announcement that such sanctions will not be imposed is very positive," said Bahçeli. "According to us, even if the U.S. president's attitude and messages to Turkey are affirmative, we must stand on our dignity and be ready for every contingency," he stressed.

The U.S. could "easily forget its promises, this is a known reality," said Bahçeli.

During last week's G20 summit in Osaka, Erdoğan said U.S. President Donald Trump had told him there would be no sanctions.

"We are strategic partners with the U.S.," Erdoğan said, adding that no country has the right to interfere with Turkey's sovereign rights. Tensions between the U.S. and Turkey have escalated in recent months over Ankara's purchase of the Russian S-400 defense systems, which Washington said will jeopardize Turkey's role in the F-35 fighter jet program and could trigger sanctions.

At the summit, Trump blamed the standoff on then-President Barack Obama's refusal to sell the Patriot missiles to Turkey and said Turkey had not been treated fairly.

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