Turkey votes in favor of constitutional reform, expanding presidential power

Close vote as Turkey moves from parliamentary to presidential system; Erdogan announces capital punishment referendum, dismisses EU criticisms

Turkish_PM_Recep_Tayyip_Erdogan

 

Turkey voted in favor of constitutional reform that will provide the Turkish president with more power, switching from a parliamentary system to a presidential system.

The referendum, carried out on Sunday, resulted in a close vote, with 51.3% voting in favor and 48.7% voting against from approximately 58 million Turkish voters. Voting from Turkey’s largest cities- Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir- showed majority voting against the reform.

The vote in favor of the constitutional amendment bill will not only assure President Erdogan’s position in power for several years forward, but will also give the President executive powers such as the power of appointment of 5 of 13 Supreme Court members as well as power to appoint cabinet members.

The amendment would also allow the president to be part of a political party, in the case of Erdogan, the Justice and Development Party (AKP). The president will now be able to serve up to two, five-year terms. If Erdogan were to win the 2019 elections, he would remain president through 2024, with the AKP continuing its already 15 years in power.

The pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) has contested the vote, claiming media bias and corruption, with the Republican People’s Party (CHP) calling for a recount of votes.

Erdogan announced following the referendum results that a new referendum would soon be held regarding the death penalty, the President a staunch supporter of the capital punishment. If the death penalty were introduced it could lead to the end of Turkey’s negotiations for entrance into the European Union.

Turkey abolished the death penalty in 2004 as a requirement to enter negotiations for EU membership. The Council of Europe stated on Monday “The organization of a referendum on the death penalty would obviously be a break with values and engagements” of the European Union, the head of the Council of Eruope delegation, Cezar Florin Preda stating, “the referendum did not live up to Council of Europe standards.”

As Amir wrote during the coupe in the summer of 2016: Whether this was a good act on behalf of the Turkish president, or a real but very poor and unorganized attempt to remove him from power, Turkey is a weak country with a strong leader after the failed coup.

Weak– because it has shown great lack of stability.

Strong because Erdogan now has all the excuses he ever needed to complete the Islamic Revolution and remove from power all the unwanted elements in the judiciary system, military officials and old foes who aren’t even on Turkish soil.

Gomer and the house of Togarma (Turkey) together with Rosh (Russia) and Persia (Iran) are ready and prepared for the final act of this very well-foreknown play!