(Bloomberg) -- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s steadfast ally ruled out a change in the constitution suggested by the president himself in a rare display of discord within a political alliance that has helped Erdogan secure victory in successive elections.
The simple majority needed to elect a president is the essence of the executive presidency that Turkey adopted in 2018, said Devlet Bahceli, leader of the Nationalist Movement Party, addressing his party’s lawmakers on Tuesday in Ankara. “This is not about electing lawmakers, it’s about electing the president. 50%+1 is the backbone, the core and democratic security of the system,” Bahceli, 75, said.
Turkey Faces Constitutional Crisis as Courts Clash on Opposition
The nationalist leader was responding to Erdogan, who voiced his desire to amend the constitution in a way that would dismiss the simple majority requirement. Making sure “one who gets the most vote is elected” would help “complete the election rapidly,” Anadolu Agency cited him as saying on Saturday. The president also complained of piecemeal alliances that political leaders are forced to concoct to get elected.
Erdogan relies on support from Bahceli as well as other smaller parties within his alliance to secure at least 360 votes to change the constitution, a threshold that would still require a referendum. His Justice and Development Party has 264 seats in parliament while Bahceli’s MHP has 50.
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