A majority of the Turkish society does not want a presidential system, Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) co-chair Figen Yüksekdağ said on Oct. 25 as a debate on constitutional changes continues to gain momentum.
“While Turkey needs peace and a democratic constitution that will provide stability right now, [the ruling Justice and Development Party] is focusing on the presidential system agenda and trying to force us to congregate at the axis. Turkish society demands a system which is not a presidential one. Despite all the destruction and repressive operations, the majority of Turkish society does not approve of a presidential system,” Yüksekdağ said at a HDP parliamentary group meeting.
She also noted that the process in the aftermath of the failed July 15 coup had turned into an opportunity to implement the presidential system.
“From the very beginning, we opposed the presidential regime. Today, what the government needs is pluralism instead of monism. We advocate the necessity of establishing a regime that is based on a pluralist, parliamentarian and local democracy. A discussion on the [new] constitution without the HDP means a constitution that excludes the public,” she said.
The call for a presidential system has been on the political agenda since President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the former prime minister, was directly chosen by popular vote as Turkey’s president in August 2014.
It was recently revived after Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli suggested going to a referendum to let the people decide if Turkey should change its administrative model.