How does the new system disturb the balance? - KEMAL ÖZTÜRK

How does the new system disturb the balance?

What do you think is the most important part of the constitutional amendment? For me, it is the end of the period that is called balance and that prevents the country's development and improvement.

Although the word balance has actually a positive meaning, it has obstructive and preventive characteristics in politics and system management.

It's really not that complicated, as you will clearly understand my purpose as the article goes on.

First balance problem: The position of the president

The existing Constitution sets the position of the president as follows: Irresponsible, completely authoritative, not accountable, (supposedly) neutral, and observer of the balance. Let it be a position where life would not be without it. He is so strong and has so much authority that he assigns both the prime minister and provincial directors in all fields. Article 105 of the current Constitution suggests:

“All presidential decrees except those which the president of the Republic is empowered to enact by himself without the signatures of the prime minister and the minister concerned, in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution and other laws, shall be signed by the prime minister, and the ministers concerned. The prime minister and the ministers concerned shall be accountable for these decrees.

No appeal shall be made to any legal authority, including the Constitutional Court, against the decisions and orders signed by the president of the Republic on his or her own initiative.”

In other words, he signs all important assignments, intervenes in them and changes them if necessary, but not the president himself, but the elected government is responsible. But how?

That is what they call balance.

They try to cover it, saying that this authority is given to audit and balance the assignments and operations of the elected government.

In fact, this is called establishing authority over politics, and blocking the system when necessary. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan called it "establishing tutelage on politics.” I think he is right in this statement considering what he suffered from former President Ahmet Necdet Sezer.

Everyone was surprised when I read this article on a television program. Have you ever heard the opposition voicing a strong objection to this?

I think the revolutionary part of the constitutional amendment relates to this article. It is a great revolution that the president will be responsible for his acts, be sent to the Supreme Court for all crimes, not only for treason unlike before, and be accountable toward the public through the elections to be held every four years.

Here, the balance which is in favor of the status quo will be distorted in this way.

Second balance problem: Region and identity-based ministries

I believe that region and ethnic-based balance has always produced problems in politics. I think that concerns about balance like feeling obliged to assign ministers from certain cities, regions and ethnicities do not strengthen the cabinet but weaken it.

Yes, it was sometimes necessary to observe this balance in terms of politics and votes. But we have all seen that this reduced the cabinet's strength over time.

The new system makes it even more difficult to assign the cabinet from outside. Although ministers can be elected from among deputies, parties will not lean toward their deputies to be ministers to avoid a numerical drop in their power in Parliament.

Only political parties will have to observe regional and ethnic balance, and they will elect their deputies accordingly. The president will focus on more competent and more specialized figures in the Cabinet.

Also, I hope newly-elected ministers will not face pressures like investing in their own regions, and demands for jobs, favors and privilege from Parliament will be minimized.

But I do not exactly know how deputies will resolve this issue, as they spend almost 70 percent of their work time on job demands from the electorate.

So, creating regional jobs instead of focusing on individual job demands would better solve problems. Improving regional job opportunities like the package that Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım announced a couple of days ago will reduce the pressure on deputies.

In short, this is what I mean by the balance that the new regulation will disturb. Was I clear in explaining myself?


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