Ankara, Aug 18 () - Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş has proposed a single-topic referendum to ask people about President Tayyip Erdoğan’s ambition to change the constitution and become an active president in a presidential regime.
“In a possible election, we could hold a referendum to ask people a single question: Do you want a presidential system or not?” Demirtaş told reporters on Aug. 18 ahead of a party meeting during which he said they would propose a referendum.
“The state regime cannot be changed with a fait accompli,” he said, noting that they should change the system only if people ask for it.
“We’ll respect the result of [a referendum]” he added.
Last week, Erdoğan argued that Turkey’s government had been already changed into a de facto presidential system, calling for a constitutional framework to “finalize” this transition.
“You can either accept it or not. Turkey’s governmental system has effectively been changed in this regard. What should be done now is to finalize the legal framework of this de facto situation with a new constitution” Erdoğan said Aug. 14.
Ahead of the June 7 parliamentary elections, Demirtaş delivered one of the shortest speeches in Turkish parliament on March 17, saying the HDP would not let Erdoğan shift the system to the strong presidential one he desired, rejecting rumors of a bargain with the ruling party.
Minutes after Demirtaş’s statement, #SeniBaşkanYaptırmayacağız (We Will Not Let You Become President) hit the worldwide trending topics list on Twitter on March 17.