Thursday, June 17, 2010

Making Way for President Erdogan? . . .

The parliament's constitutional commission has given the greenlight to a bill that would allow a sitting prime minister to run for president without resigning her or his position in parliament. As Prime Minister Erdogan has expressed interest in running for the post at the end of President Gul's term, the law is widely regarded asn effort to secure the prime minister's position as a potential candidate.

In 2007, following the political crisis that ensured in relation to the election of Gul, the constitution was amended to faciliate the popular election of the president. Before, the president had been elected in parliament. Under the current constitution, the president is elected for a five-year term (though it took some time to sort out whether the term would e four or five years) with the right to serve two consecutive terms. President Gul's term will end in 2012.

In April, Erdogan caused further alarm in some circles when he discussed the virtues of installing a presidential system in Turkey along the lines of the American system. The prime minister said that a presidential system might better resolve ongoing conflicts about the separation of powers in Turkey's constitutional system, but skeptics quickly jumped on the statement as evidence of Erdogan's intentions to consolidate his own power once elected president.

No comments: