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Elections – the Turkish opposition promises to break the presidential system

Elections – the Turkish opposition promises to break the presidential system

Ankara. A few months before the elections, the Turkish opposition coalition agreed on a joint programme. The six parties also want to run a joint candidate against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for the parliamentary and presidential elections, which are expected to take place on May 14 – an announcement is due in February.

Possible candidates include the leader of the opposition party, the CHP, Kemal Kilicdaroglu, the mayor of Istanbul, Ekrem Imamoglu, and the mayor of Ankara, Mansur Yavas, both of whom also belong to the CHP. However, it is questionable whether Imamoglu, who is likely to calculate the best chances in the duel against Erdogan, will actually be able to compete. The 52-year-old was sentenced to more than two years in prison and banned from politics in December for calling an election officer in the 2019 Istanbul local elections an “idiot”. However, the appeals court ruling is still pending.

Erdogan is under pressure

According to the agreement presented on Monday, if it wins the elections, the six-party alliance wants to return the presidential system to a parliamentary system, strengthen the rule of law and freedom of the press, and reduce the power of the president. . The president is no longer entitled to issue decrees. The head of state is no longer allowed to belong to any party and should be elected only once for a seven-year term.

Erdogan, who is now running for president for the third time, began transforming Turkey into a presidential system during his first term in office. Since 2018, Erdogan, whose critics accuse him of increasing authoritarianism, has wielded far-reaching powers as head of state.

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Erdogan is currently under tremendous pressure domestically, especially due to the economic crisis and the extremely high inflation rate. In this context, the opposition coalition, which includes the Republican People’s Party and the conservative National Party, announced that it would fight inflation of more than 60%. They want to permanently reduce inflation to single digits within two years and ensure that central bank independence is restored. The alliance also committed itself to membership in the European Union and Turkey’s membership in NATO.