Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) parliamentary group deputy chairman Özgür Özel said on Thursday that Turkey must go to early general elections instead of changing its system of governance from a parliamentary to a presidential system through a controversial constitutional amendment package.
Speaking during debates on the constitutional amendment in Parliament on Thursday, Özel said it is the decision of his party and its chairman, Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, that the CHP is ready for early elections, even if held now.
“I am speaking on behalf of my party and chairman. Instead of an attempt to change the regime through constitutional amendments, we support the idea of holding snap elections,” he said.
Pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) spokesman Ayhan Bilgen announced on Thursday that the HDP also supports the idea of holding early elections.
On Wednesday opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli said Turkey’s legislature must be “renewed” if it fails to pass a constitutional amendment package that will bring an executive presidency and end the parliamentary system.
There has been strong opposition to the constitutional amendment package over fears of one-man rule in Turkey as it grants extended powers to the president, and Parliament has been the scene of altercations between Justice and Development Party (AKP) and main opposition CHP deputies over the past several evenings.
While the majority of opposition MHP deputies, including Bahçeli, support the ruling AKP for passage of the package in Parliament, the CHP and HDP are against it.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has slammed opposition parties that object to the constitutional reform package seeking to introduce a presidential system in Turkey, saying on Thursday that they should “know their place.”