Support for executive presidency in Turkey drops to 37 percent: poll

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PHOTO: Milli Gazete

Only 37 percent of Turks support the executive-style presidential system that was adopted by a margin of 51.4 percent in a public referendum in April 2017, according to a survey, the Cumhuriyet daily reported on Wednesday.

The survey, carried out at the request of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), showed that 54 percent of people in Turkey think the executive-style presidential system, which has been in force for more than a year, is not effective.  

Turkey used to have a parliamentary system until President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was elected executive president in June 2018 following the adoption of constitutional amendments in the 2017 referendum. The new system gives extraordinary powers to the president while weakening the parliament and eliminating the post of prime minister.

Erdoğan’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), backed by the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), pushed through the legislation that President Erdoğan said would bring the strong leadership needed to prevent a return of the fragile coalition governments of the past.

In response to a question asking whether Turkey should keep the current executive-style presidential system or go back to the parliamentary system, 53.8 percent of respondents said Turkey should return to the parliamentary system, while 41.4 percent said it should keep the executive presidential system. The remaining 4.8 percent of respondents had no opinion.

The executive-style presidential system gave the president, traditionally a more ceremonial role, the power to dismiss ministers and parliament, issue decrees, declare emergency rule and appoint figures to key positions, including the judiciary.

It also allowed the president to retain membership in a political party, which was previously prohibited under the constitution as the president was expected to act with impartiality.

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