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President Erdoğan accused of wanting one-man rule

Opposition parties have maintained that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s decision to chair a meeting of the Cabinet is a striking reflection of his ambition for one-man rule, as much as it is a result of Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu’s inability to fulfill the requirements of his post.

An initial process, in which Erdoğan is partially taking over Davutoğlu’s duties and authority, has begun, according to main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Deputy Chair Haluk Koç. Afterwards, this practice will become permanent, Koç said on Dec. 30. “That is to say: a position called ‘Prime President Minister’ is being invented in Turkey,” said Koç, also the spokesperson for the party.

Koç said the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has turned out to be the state party and its key players have already engaged in a power game. Calling on Davutoğlu to use his weight as the prime minister and to not turn into a remote-control premier, Koç said, “You are now an impotent element. You just have your name. You have no effect or duty. They were all taken.”  

Criticizing Erdoğan for violating the Constitution and the principle of separation of powers, the CHP spokesperson said “Does the Constitution tell him to grab the powers of the elected prime minister, or does it tell him to remove justice and abolish the media freedom? What does the Constitution say to you? You are not implementing what the Constitution says; you are disregarding it.”  

Deputy leader of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) Şefkat Çetin argued Erdoğan will grab the government’s power by chairing the Cabinet, in a written statement on Dec. 30. “Erdoğan is putting his intention to install the de facto presidential system in place by chairing the Cabinet meeting,” he stated. “The Republic of Turkey is neither Erdoğan’s nor Davutoğlu’s company. They have no luxury in handing over the powers given to them. The government will enter into the presidential tutelage if Erdoğan chairs the meeting,” he said.

Ertuğrul Kürkçü, Mersin Deputy from the People’s Democracy Party (HDP) slammed Erdoğan’s move to hold the Cabinet under his chairmanship. Recalling that there was no extraordinary situation in the country for which Erdoğan could convene the Cabinet, Kürkçü said that this extraordinary situation was surely existent within the ruling party. Kürkçü stressed that this power given to the president was even not used by former President Kenan Evren, who perpetrated the infamous 1980 coup d’état.

Source: Hurriyet Daily News

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