Turkey: pro-Kurdish party calls for referendum on govt system

HDP party leader suggests vote on plans to switch from parliamentary system to a presidential one

Turkey: pro-Kurdish party calls for referendum on govt system

World Bulletin / News Desk

Pro-Kurdish party leader Selahattin Demirtas has called for a referendum on a proposal for Turkey to adopt a presidential system.

Demirtas, co-chair of the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), suggested on Tuesday holding a vote at the same time as a potential re-run of the June 7 general election, which seems to loom nearer after the collapse of coalition negotiations.

A new presidential system was a topical issue in the run-up to the parliamentary election. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has repeatedly expressed his support for a change from the current parliamentary system to one that would enhance his powers. The proposal was included it in the election program of the Justice and Development (AK) Party.

"We are ready to submit to the parliament such a proposition [to hold a referendum simultaneously with the general election]," Demirtas said, ahead of his party's central executive board meeting at its headquarters in the capital Ankara.

“Provided the parliament takes a decision… a single-question referendum: ‘Do you want the presidential system?’ This way, the issue could be clarified.”

Demirtas challenged supporters of such a change, saying: “If they have confidence, then let us ask the people.”

Turkey seems set for a rerun of the June 7 general election that saw no party achieve a simple majority in parliament.

Any new poll is likely to take place in late November, although Turkey’s election authority has the power to cut the 90-day period by half.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 18 Ağustos 2015, 13:13