Metropoll head says 51 percent of nation against executive presidency

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Özer Sencar

Head of the Ankara-based Metropoll polling company Professor Özer Sencar has said 51 percent of the nation is against the introduction of an executive presidency in Turkey, adding that the 10 percent of voters who are undecided will play a determining role in Turkey’s switch to a presidential system of governance.

Speaking to the RS FM radio station, Sencar said, “Whoever manages to get the support of the 10 percent of undecided voters will win.”

The Justice and Development Party (AKP) government and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan are seeking to introduce an executive presidency in Turkey in which Erdoğan will enjoy more executive powers. His post is largely ceremonial now; however, Erdoğan has been acting like an executive president since his election to the top state post in August 2014. Erdoğan is a strong supporter of a switch to the presidential system. Yet, critics say Erdoğan wants a “Turkish style” executive presidency without checks and balances, one that is aimed at creating one-man rule.

The AKP government has announced that they would soon present for referendum a constitutional amendment seeking to introduce an executive presidency.

Sencar also said he thinks the state of emergency in the country, declared in the aftermath of a coup attempt on July 15, will be lifted before a referendum is held.

“Considering the personality of Erdoğan, he will not want the nation to go to the ballot box under emergency rule. He would not like people saying, ‘You won under a state of emergency.’ So, there is no possibility of going to a referendum under the state of emergency,” Sencar said.

Emergency rule was first declared in Turkey on July 21 for three months. It was extended for another three months on Oct. 19 and will officially expire on Jan.19, 2017. However, President Erdoğan and government officials say the state of emergency could be extended further.

In remarks that appeared in the Hürriyet daily on Monday, Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım said his government would abolish emergency rule before a referendum is held on an executive presidency.

 

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