The government will implement a constitutional change and shift to a presidential system, Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım has said, hinting that a meeting with Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli on the charter had been positive.
“With the MHP, we will make the constitutional change and realize the presidential system, God willing,” Yıldırım said Nov. 11 in the Black Sea province of Trabzon.
“The MHP and its leader, Devlet Bahçeli, took responsibility with its reason as it took the future of the country into an account beyond any political calculation to solve an important issue for Turkey,” Yıldırım said.
Bahçeli previously appeared to support the presidential system.
Yıldırım’s comments came after he gathered with Bahçeli to discuss constitutional drafts the AKP prepared in order to shift the Turkish system to an executive presidential system on Nov. 10.
Although the parties in the meeting did not make any announcement after the meeting, Bahçeli posted a statement on his Twitter account hinting at possible support for the AKP’s charter proposals.
“We found the consideration of Mr. Prime Minister on the constitution, which he shared with me, positive and reasonable. In my opinion, the very productive meeting we had with Mr. Yıldırım will result in beneficent and good developments for our country and nation,” Bahçeli said.
“Even though a political agreement was not secured, I hope the process ahead of us will solve the de facto imposition in Turkey,” Bahçeli added, reiterating his criticism of the AKP for ruling the country with a de facto presidential system, a criticism which led him to propose the presentation of a constitutional amendment to the public.
“Make the de facto imposition comply with the rule of law,” he said Oct. 11.
The governmental preparation for the presidential system was accelerated with Bahçeli’s comments. When his call met with a positive response from AKP officials, Bahçeli underlined that his party would decide on its stance in the parliamentary vote after evaluating the ruling party’s draft.
Following Bahçeli’s comments, Yıldırım stated that they would submit the draft to a parliamentary vote if they were sure the bill would pass.
“We need 330 affirmative votes to bring the constitutional amendment to a public vote. For the AKP, it is not possible for us to achieve that by ourselves. In this manner, the MHP’s support is needed. We have initiated our work based on this,” he said Nov. 9.
With 316 seats in parliament, the AKP is at least 14 votes short of introducing a constitutional amendment, as any charter change requires the support of at least 330 votes in order to take it to a referendum.