Author : Hurriyet Dailynews
Posted : February 6, 2017
Turkey’s opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) has decided to visit provinces across Turkey as part of their campaign for the upcoming referendum that will decide whether the current parliamentary system should be shifted into an executive presidency.
MHP lawmakers will hold an extraordinary meeting in the Central Anatolian province of Konya between Feb. 10 and 12, with the participation of the Central Executive Board (MYK) and Central Disciplinary Board (MDK), to determine its roadmap on the way to the public vote.
After the meeting, members of the MHP are expected to address the constitutional amendment package to party adherents and answer their questions.
Party authorities have previously held consultation meetings in several provinces during debates on charter changes in the parliament’s constitution commission. According to newly obtained information, the MHP is planning to continue its consultation meetings after their meeting in Konya.
MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli is also expected to lead most of the campaign meetings.
The party will try to avoid standing side by side with the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).
MHP’s headquarters have determined that the agenda of the meeting in Konya would primarily be about increasing terror attacks in Turkey, the Euphrates Shield operation, charter changes and the referendum process. Bahçeli will campaign with the slogan, “Turkey is going through a critical process,” in reference to the post-July 15, 2016 failed coup attempt atmosphere in the country.
Bahçeli is expected to stress that his party will strongly prioritize Turkey over the party’s interests with the slogan, “My country and people comes first, and then comes my party and I. The problems the country is facing can be solved through strong governance.”
The party leader is expected to say that the president continuously acting against the constitution will only take the country further into chaos and crisis, and will lead to a partition in the country. He will also promote that the MHP, with the spirit of national reconciliation, will only work on strengthening the survival of the state and the people, guaranteeing their future and ending the de-facto dilemma that is making the crisis grow.
Turkey will hold a referendum in mid-April to decide whether to change the government system into an executive presidency with vastly enhanced powers for the president or to protect the current parliamentary system.
The “yes” vote is endorsed by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the AKP and the MHP.
The parliament has submitted 18 articles awaiting the approval of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who has 15 days to approve the changes.
In the likely event that Erdoğan signs the changes and publishes them in the Official Gazette before Feb. 7, the referendum will be held on April 9, but if he does it after Feb. 7, then the referendum is likely to occur on April 16.
The final decision on the date of the referendum will be given by the Supreme Election Board (YSK).