Erdoğan says early election not desirable, but not unthinkable

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. / AFP PHOTO / ADEM ALTAN

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Friday early elections would not be out of the question if Parliament becomes unable to do its job, as deputies debate constitutional amendments that would introduce a full presidential system.

Speaking to reporters after Friday prayers, Erdoğan said he had always been against early elections and he hoped the constitutional reform talks would be completed this week.

Parliament approved key articles of the reform package in an initial vote, bringing the executive presidency sought by Erdoğan a step closer.

On Thursday main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) parliamentary group deputy chairman Özgür Özel said that Turkey must go to early general elections instead of changing its system of governance from a parliamentary to a presidential system through the constitutional amendment package.

Speaking during debates on the constitutional amendment in Parliament, 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 system through constitutional amendments, we support the idea of holding snap elections,” he said.

The pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) also backed the idea of holding early elections in a statement on Friday.

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