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Turkish opposition leader proposes 16-point plan for ‘overcoming the crisis’

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Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, chairman of Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), has laid out a 16-point plan that he says was designed to resolve the current crisis the country is facing, BBC Turkish service reported on Monday.

Most notably, the CHP leader urged the lifting of the 10 percent electoral threshold for entering parliament. He also advocated a “political ethics law” and a new balance between central and local governments.

“Central government supervision should not be about obstructing municipalities’ work,” Kılıçdaroğlu said. “It should be guaranteed that mayors who take office in elections can only leave office by being voted out.”

Kılıçdaroğlu’s call came after the government removed five Kurdish mayors from office and replaced them with trustees on Friday.

The Turkish government has ousted a total of 45 Kurdish mayors since last year’s local elections.

Relations between central and local government also came up during the COVID-19 pandemic, with Ankara moving to prevent opposition-held municipalities from carrying out relief campaigns and collecting donations.

Other points put forward by Kılıçdaroğlu include ending extravagant public spending and allowing more efficient auditing of expenditures; setting up a merit-based system in public sector appointments; ensuring the autonomy of the central bank and financial regulatory bodies; ensuring transparency in public tenders; protecting judicial independence; and guaranteeing freedom of expression and the press.

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