Nationwide support for executive presidency in Turkey below 38 pct: survey

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Nationwide support for the executive-style presidential system that was adopted in Turkey with 51.4 percent of the vote in an April 2017 referendum dropped to 37.5 percent in June, Turkish media reported on Friday, citing the results of a survey conducted by pollster Area Research.

According to the survey 46.6 percent of respondents said Turkey should return to the parliamentary system, while 37.5 percent said it should keep the executive presidential system. The remaining 15.9 percent of respondents had no opinion.

When undecided voters are distributed among the parties, people who support the parliamentary system increase to 55.4 percent, while those who support the executive presidential system stand at 44.6 percent.

The survey also showed that 43.1 percent of participants think the executive presidential system in Turkey was “successful,” while 49.8 percent think it was “unsuccessful.” The remaining 7.1 percent of respondents had no opinion.

Turkey used to have a parliamentary system until Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was re-elected 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.

Dismissing ministers and parliament, issuing decrees, declaring states of emergency and appointing figures to key positions, including the judiciary, are some of the powers the executive-style presidential system gave Erdoğan. 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.

When asked about the economic policy of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government, 64.5 of respondents said it was “unsuccessful,” while only 31.2 percent said they think it was “successful.”

The survey was conducted amid a deteriorating economy in Turkey, where double-digit inflation and a slump in the lira’s value are affecting the standard of living, putting many people into poverty.

Earlier this week President Erdoğan introduced austerity measures for state institutions and organizations, attracting criticism from opposition politicians for keeping the presidency, which according to local reports spends TL 10 million ($1,148,264) daily, exempt from the measures.

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