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Erdoğan talks plans for the presidential election re-run

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Erdoğan talks plans for the presidential election re-run

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan told this morning’s Akşam that he wanted Turkey’s next president to be elected by parliament from a list of compromise candidates. He said he would visit other political party leaders with the list if necessary, and added: “They (critics) told me I should have previously come forward with multiple candidates, not just the one. We can do that. We will seek compromise over a list of candidates that the constitution finds appropriate.”

His words come after similar – but separate – words from main opposition leader Deniz Baykal. Mr Erdoğan was quick to say that while the 11th president, successor to the current incumbent, would be elected by parliament, the 12th president will “definitely” be elected by the people. Mr Baykal has made no such commitment.

The prime minister also said the president’s powers would be restricted: “The president’s powers will be narrowed, like in Austria and Finland. Prime Ministers are the ones who answer to the people, but it is they who are obstructed on every path. A strengthened prime ministry system is on the way.”

As an electoral pledge, we will have to make do with this for now. Turkey is in need of major institutional change, and the leader of the party most likely to win the election has promised to deliver it. It is time, finally, to put the presidential election to one side. It is time to concentrate instead on who should lead Turkey into the next decade.

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