No joint AK Party, MHP referendum campaign: Deputy PM

Numan Kurtulmus says ruling AK Party and its ally on constitutional changes, the MHP, will run separate Yes campaigns

No joint AK Party, MHP referendum campaign: Deputy PM

World Bulletin / News Desk

 Turkey's ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) will run separate "yes" campaigns for this spring’s expected referendum on sweeping constitutional changes, Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus said Tuesday.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency’s Editors’ Desk at its headquarters in Ankara, Kurtulmus shed light on the upcoming referendum campaign.

He said: "There is no joint campaign between the ruling AK Party and the MHP for the referendum. The MHP will focus on what they consider important. The AK Party will run a campaign promoting our priorities. Both campaigns are pushing for yes votes.”

He said the ruling party will campaign on the message that the changes will not lead to regime change, as critics have charged, but rather a system change providing Turkey with an effective governance mechanism. 

“We will run a campaign with the idea that with more powerful government procedures we will easily overcome terrorism,” he said.

He also stressed that there is no need for any national consensus government since the ruling party as the lawful government has right to run the country until 2019.

"Even if the yes votes win the referendum, the premiership will be in power until the 2019 elections," Kurtulmus added.

On the situation of the new president under the proposed changes, he said there would be checks on his power.

“The president will name his Cabinet and ministers and will have the potential to make faster decisions on statuary decrees. Besides these, he will face some powerful checks.”

He added that this would lead Turkey to faster economic growth.

In a second round of voting, Parliament last week approved the constitutional change package. After President Recep Tayyip Erdogan signs the bill, a public referendum is expected in early April.

The proposed changes, effectively shifting Turkey from a parliamentary system to a presidential one, require a simple majority approval in the referendum.

Erdogan and his supporters have argued that Turkey needs a strong presidency to avoid weak governance and allow the country to successfully tackle a number of challenges, including terror attacks from ISIL, the PKK, and the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO).

Opponents claim the changes would weaken democratic checks and lead to increased authoritarianism.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 24 Ocak 2017, 12:38