Over 60 pct of Turkey favours parliamentary system - survey

A total of 64 percent of Turkey wishes to revert to the parliamentary system from the current presidential system,ushered in with the 2018 general election, the leader of Turkey’s centre-right opposition Good (İYİ) Party said on Sunday.

Only 35 percent continue to stand behind the presidential system, Karar newspaper quoted Good Party leader Merak Akşener as saying citing the results of a new survey commissioned by the party.

Turkey voted to move to the new executive presidential system in a referendum in 2017, which was held during a period of emergency rule following a failed coup attempt in July 2016. 

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) said the new system would allow for the smoother running of government and place the parliament, in charge of legislature, as a counterweight to the president’s executive powers. But critics maintain the system has tightened Erdoğan’s grip on the country and ushered in one-man rule.

The new system has done away with the position of prime minister and handed executive power Erdoğan, also tying key institutions to the presidency.

The Good Party leader also said the opposition party had reached a consensus to enter the next general elections slated for 20203 as part of an alliance with other opposition parties.

"My friends have discussed everything. We have voted on the matter. [Istanbul deputy Ümit ] Özdağ’s opinion was that we should enter the general elections alone, but the remainder of provincial leaders and members of our general administrative committee voted in favour of an alliance,’’ Akşener said. 

The Good Party, a breakaway initiative established by defectors from the far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) over concerns of its alliance with the ruling AKP, pooled efforts with the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) in presidential and parliamentary election in 2018, running as the Nation Alliance. 

The two parties continued their alliance during local polls in March of last year, which saw the main opposition CHP win five of Turkey’s most populous provinces, dealing the greatest blow to the ruling AKP in its 17 years in power.