Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş has said there was “no change” in his party’s stance opposing a transition of the Turkish government from the current parliamentarian system to a presidential one, nor was there any cause for such a shift.
“Turkey needs to get rid of the coup constitution of Kenan Evren. But holding the discussion on the basis of [a transition to a] presidential system is a wrong approach,” Demirtaş told a group of reporters in southeastern Diyarbakır province on Nov. 5, a reference to the current constitution from 1982 which is in effect a legacy of the Sept. 12, 1980, coup, led by the late Evren.
“A principally important matter needed to be discussed in regards to the constitution is the issue of fundamental human rights and freedoms,” Demirtaş said, a day after President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan overtly presented the creation of a new constitution that would pave the way for a transition to a presidential system as the number-one item on the agenda of the newly elected legislature.
“We have offered a model of a reinforced democratic parliamentarian system and strong decentralization. There is no change in our party’s stance on this issue. There is nothing that requires such a change either.
Our stance concerning a presidential system is not personal. Even I would personally know that if I would be elected president, neither I nor our party HDP would get involved in any discussion over a presidential system,” Demirtaş elaborated.
“Turkey’s agenda is not a presidential system, etc. We don’t believe that it is right to discuss the constitution in terms of a presidential system,” he said.
The HDP is, meanwhile, prepared to hold a party convention in the coming days, which will be preceded by a conference to discuss key issues such as their approach to the presidential system.
The regular convention was delayed due to the Nov. 1 snap elections. During the conference, party executives will discuss whether to extend the tenure of the current co-chairs, as a rule in the party’s internal regulations limits deputies to two consecutive terms in parliament.