May 12 2018

Presidential system has shaken AKP voters’ faith – columnist

Many voters who support Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan do not believe that his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has yet justified the transition to a presidential system and may vote for a different party in upcoming parliamentary elections, Elif Çakır wrote in moderate Islamist newspaper Karar.

“AKP voters who voted ‘yes’ (in the 2017 presidential system referendum) due to their support for the AKP against anti-democratic uprisings... and for ending the dual-headed nature of government are now confused, because they believe that the presidential system is unchecked power,” Çakır said.

“As a result of the AKP being unable to properly explain the presidential system, while the AKP base will give its vote to Erdoğan (in the presidential election), they may make another decision in the parliiamentary election in order that there be some balance and oversight in the system.”

The biggest problem that the AKP had with voters in general was that it was being compared unfavourably to itself in earlier days, Çakır said.

Voters remembered “the old reformist, democratic AKP that embraced all segments of society”, but the party had changed, she said.