Turkish opposition parties to cooperate on reinforced parliamentary system

The leaders of Turkey’s right-wing opposition Future and Good parties on Monday agreed to work on a joint project for a stronger parliamentary system, which Turkey abandoned in lieu of a presidential one in 2018.

The decision follows a meeting between Future Party leader Ahmet Davutoğlu and Good Party leader Meral Akşener, BBC Turkish reported.

Davutoğlu, a former ally of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who founded the Future Party in Dec., earlier this month had called for a reinforced parliamentary system.

Akşener said the Good Party had also been working on a similar project.

"Now, we are going to join these efforts and examine common grounds and reconciliatory points,’’ BBC Turkish cited Akşener as saying.” We have agreed to joint effort to this end.’’

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. The system was ushered in with the June 2018 elections. 

Erdoğan’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) maintains 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 the system has come under criticism for effectively eliminating the prime minister's post while transferring executive powers to the president, who rules with only limited checks and balances.

"Just as we oppose the presidential system today, we also stand against the majoritarian system that arrived with the 1924 Constitution and the tutelage system brought in with the 1961 Constitution,’’ Davutoğlu said. "We are calling for an entirely transparent, clear and open parliamentary system.’’