Turkey Could Change System of Government in Early 2017

Turkish citizens could be heading to the polls sooner than they expected to decide on whether they want to maintain their current system of government or switch to a presidential system. Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag said “if the parliament puts the issue on its agenda and makes a quick decision, the referendum will be brought to the people quickly, even before the spring.” The country has been taken by a resounding wave of patriotism since the failed July 15 coup d’état and analysts believe that the president is trying to capitalize on the momentum to make the change.

The Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) support maintaining the parliamentary system. The nationalist-oriented MHP is for a change, which could pave the way for enough support in the parliament.

The Justice Minister said the comments made by MHP’s leader Devlet Bahceli mean that “he would back the presidential system proposal in its parliament process.”

President Erdogan has been yearning to be an Executive President but there have been concerns that he might abuse his power and become authoritarian. His critics accuse him of being a dictator. There is a possibility that his wish could be granted because an opinion poll held two weeks after the coup showed that around 66% of the population approved the change.

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