Main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal on Friday criticized a government proposal to amend the Constitution to allow the people to elect the president and expressed his opinion that President Ahmet Necdet Sezer would surely veto the proposal.
Baykal was speaking for a Friday program on CNN Türk.
The CHP chairman expressed his opinion that if the president was elected by popular vote, "the sovereignty of the nation would start to collapse." Baykal said that Parliament's attempt to hastily pass a fundamental change without discussing it thoroughly was not a “serious” thing to do, adding his belief that it was only a form of showing off. The main opposition leader said that "it is frustrating to see political tightrope artistry and game playing."“There is no side to this [proposal] that can be taken seriously. This is irresponsibility at its peak. Turkey has 84 years of a republican pillar: Sovereignty belongs to the nation. And that sovereignty is represented in Parliament. Now we will have the nation vote in deputies and the president. This way, two bodies would be representing sovereignty, and the sovereignty of the nation would start to collapse. This will have significant consequences that will have to be accepted. This would create major problems for Turkey.”
Baykal also asserted in the interview that those who were proposing the amendment had “no idea what they are saying.”
“Hands are going up and down in Parliament. You know what that is? It is a show to compensate for the feeling of insecurity. They couldn’t even elect the president despite their two-thirds majority. They didn’t manage to force the president they had their in mind on the nation; they made a mess of it. Now with the feeling of defeat, ambition and anger emerging from that, they are moving with feelings of revenge.”
Baykal expressed his belief that a president elected through popular vote would never remain the “symbolic president of the parliamentary regime” and argued that the nation was not ready to leave its fate in the hands of a single person. “A person thinking they have popular support behind them would disturb order in the Turkish state.”
Baykal also offered his forecast that the governing Justice and Development Party (AK Party) would back off from its proposal. “There is a trustworthy president who wouldn’t say ‘yes’ to such irresponsible behavior; that is clear. This one will be vetoed,” he said.
He also said a second discussion on the amendment in Parliament after it is vetoed by the president would be one “dominated by common sense.”
The leader of Turkey’s main opposition also expressed his belief that the upcoming general elections were of “historical” importance to Turkey’s future. “It will be an election showing whether Turkey will be diverging from its historical path or not.”
Baykal said the AK Party was dragging Turkey into a very dangerous conflict. “They have been exposed. We need to show our sensitivity about the secular and democratic republican understanding and our national integrity. Some time ago, a lot of segments observed that the AK Party government was insurance for stability. In the past six months, however, this has been proven wrong. Now many see that if the AK Party stays in power, Turkey cannot main stability. The AK Party staying in power would endanger the regime.”
Views on general elections
Baykal said everyone who shared the danger present in Turkey should come together without discriminating between liberal, conservative or social democrats.
Claiming that the country was headed to a dangerous conflict, he said, “The way to prevent this is people coming together within democracy whether they are on the right or left of center.”
In response to a question on his party’s economic goals, Baykal expressed his belief that market rules functioning well worked to increase corporate responsibility in the public sphere. “The public can be leading, supervising and regulating. The rules have to be foreseeable. It will be out of question to change the goal once the game begins.”
He said strong policies directing both foreign and domestic capital to work for the good of the country would be the right thing to do and added that Turkey needed a serious strategy of industrializing.
Baykal emphasized that fighting corruption and unemployment were priorities for the CHP. “These are problems that cannot be handled simply by distributing alms during Ramadan or giving coal to the poor. Serious policies are needed.”
Source:Today's ZamanLast Mod: 13 Mayıs 2007, 09:53