Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has announced that his party is not going to take a constitutional reform package which will be put to a public referendum on April 16 to the Constitutional Court for cancellation and will let the nation make its decision.
The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), backed by the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), pushed through the legislation which among other things introduces an executive presidency in Turkey.
Speaking at his party’s parliamentary group meeting on Tuesday, Kılıçdaroğlu said: “The will of the nation will again be saved by the nation’s perseverance and determination. So, we leave the coming 60 days until April 16 when a decision will be made at the ballot box to thejudgment of the nation. That’s why we won’t go to the Constitutional Court. We trust our flag, our homeland and the nation. The word belongs to the nation.”
While President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan says the reforms will bring the strong leadership needed to prevent a return of the fragile coalition governments of the past, the CHP and pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) fear it will fuel authoritarianism.
CHP parliamentary deputy group chairman Özgür Özel said in a previous statement that the party would take the reform package to the Constitutional Court for cancellation after its approval by Erdoğan. Erdoğan approved the reforms last week.
In the meantime, Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım, who commented on Kılıçdaroğlu’s remarks later on Tuesday, said CHP must have understood that no decision would be forthcoming from the Constitutional Court in favor of the cancellation of the reforms, hence made the decision not to challenge them at the top court.