Officials from Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) dismissed on Sunday the possibility of early elections and the opposition’s demand to return to a parliamentary system.
AK Party Deputy Chairman Numan Kurtulmuş said in a televised interview that Turkey “does not have an agenda with regards to early elections” and reiterated that a civilian constitution is needed.
Early elections are on the “artificial agenda” of the opposition parties, Kurtulmuş said.
“They are trying to create a new early elections agenda. It is normal that opposition parties demand early elections, but Turkey is continuing its way with a positive political agenda,” he added.
“The Parliament will also not approve early elections, and they know this too. They are trying to tire the government over early elections,” Kurtulmuş said.
“We are doing politics transparently, and we are pursuing an elections policy that tries to win hearts,” he added.
With regards to the need for a civilian constitution, Kurtulmuş emphasized that the current constitution needs to change because “it bears the bloodstains of the 1980 coup.”
“Turkey needs to prepare its own civilian constitution,” he concluded.
On the other hand, AK Party Group Deputy Chairman Bülent Turan said that Turkey’s return to the parliamentary system “is not technically possible.”
“In order to have a 400-seat parliamentary approval to return to the parliamentary system, the AK Party has to garner 10% of votes and the MHP needs to have no votes in elections. No need to fool oneself,” he said.
It has been more than four years since Turkey switched from a parliamentary system to the current presidential system after the majority of Turkish voters opted to create the new system.
Turkish voters narrowly endorsed an executive presidency in the April 16, 2017 referendum with 51.4% of the votes in favor. The official transition to the new system took place when President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan took the presidential oath of office in Parliament after the June 24, 2018, general elections, during which he won 52.6% of the votes.