Ankara, March 24 () - The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) will ready its own draft of a new constitution which includes a shift to a presidential system by the end of April and submit it to parliament in May or June, after losing hope for the resumption of an inter-party panel tasked with writing Turkey’s new charter.
“We will start writing the draft next week after establishing a team tasked to this end by taking our previous work on the new charter into consideration,” Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said during an address to his AKP’s provincial organizations on March 23.
A serious disagreement between the ruling and oppositional parties over the former’s attempt to adopt a presidential system through the new constitution hindered the earlier works of a parliamentary panel after only three meetings. The AKP specifically accused the Republican People’s Party (CHP) of blocking the process and announced it would introduce its own draft.
Davutoğlu said the AKP was planning to complete the writing process of the new constitution by the end of April and then submit it to parliament. “I will participate in the [drafting] work, me too” he said. The decision to go ahead with the new charter was given late on March 22 at an AKP central-decision making body meeting, in which senior party officials also drew a road map for the process.
“Following detailed and productive consultations, we have decided to take rapid and decisive steps in a bid to meet the expectations of our people for the new constitution” the prime minister said, adding they also drew up a general framework of the charter. The new charter will bring about the presidential system, he stated.
Having 317 seats in parliament, the AKP needs an additional 14 votes from other parties to be able to take its constitutional draft to a referendum. In earlier remarks, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan hinted at an alliance between the AKP and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) to this end. However, the MHP has also stated its opposition to a presidential system.