Hürriyet Daily News
According to law on the presidential elections, President Abdullah Gül will complete his term in office in 2014.
After a protracted assessment, the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) has decided to ask the Constitutional Court to scrap a controversial law that fixed President Abdullah Gül’s term to seven years.
“It is the CHP’s duty to defend the rights not only of ordinary people but also those of the president. If there is an unconstitutional law,CHP will make efforts to block it, even if pertains to the president,”CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu said at his party’s parliamentary group meeting yesterday.
Asked by reporters whether his remarks meant the CHP had finally made up its mind to go to the Constitutional Court, Kılıçdaroğlu said: “I mean that.”
The CHP debated the move for several weeks, with some deputies opposed to such an application on grounds that the bill is part of a covert intra-party struggle within the Justice and Development Party (AKP). Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is widely believed to be preparing to ascend to the presidency after Gül completes his tenure in 2014.
Gül had signed the bill into law on Jan. 25. The legislation, which outlines the procedural rules for the popular vote on presidential elections, includes a provision fixing his term to seven years.
Parliament elected Gül for a single seven-year term in 2007, but under constitutional amendments approved at a referendum shortly afterward, the president became entitled to a once-renewable five-year term. The opposition has argued the amendments are binding for Gül, but the AKP insisted they cannot be implemented retroactively to shorten his original tenure.