Erdogan cannot run for presidency unless the parliament approves to renew elections - lawmaker

Erdogan cannot run for presidency unless the parliament approves to renew elections - lawmaker
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TIP lawmaker Kadigil said Erdogan cannot blatantly violate the Constitution

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan cannot be a presidential candidate, unless Turkish parliament votes in favor of renewing the elections, said Sera Kadigil, a lawmaker from Turkish Workers Party (TIP).

Also a lawyer, Kadigil said the parliament’s approving a decision to renew the elections is a constitutional obligation for Erdogan to run for the presidency for a third term, adding that the President cannot blatantly violate the Constitution.

“The decision of the parliament to renew the elections is not a matter of ‘pleasure’, but a constitutional obligation for Erdogan to be a candidate,” Kadigil said via Twitter on Monday, after Turkish President announced earlier in the day that he would be pleased if the lawmakers approves the renewal of the elections.

“We would be pleased if the parliament makes this date update with a majority required by the constitution. If it the required majority was not achieved, then as the President, I will use my authority for taking the decision with a calendar that will ensure that the elections can be hold on May 14 and will start the process," Erdogan said following a cabinet meeting on Monday.

Turkey is facing presidential and parliamentary elections officially scheduled for June 18, amid a political debate whether Turkey’s constitution allows Erdogan to run for the office for a third term.

Erdogan who assumed office in 2014 is currently on his second term as president, which is the maximum he could hold the post according to the constitution.

Article 101 of the constitution says that "The term of the president of the republic is five years. A person may be elected president of the republic for a maximum of two terms."

However, Erdogan’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) says that Article 101 does not prevent Erdogan's candidacy, as it was applied for the first time in 2018 elections as Turkey adopted a presidential system of governance in a nationwide referendum held in 2017 that granted Erdogan vast executive powers.

One exception on the other hand that was brought in with the 2017 referendum is that if parliament votes to renew elections during the president’s second term, he could run for another term.

Earlier this month, AKP officials said if they cannot get a May date decision from the parliament, the process will proceed with the decision of the President.

According to them, there are two possible ways for an early election; one of them is the parliament’s taking a decision with the vote of 360 deputies in the 550-seat assembly, and the other is the president’s dissolving the parliament.

The ruling alliance (AKP-MHP) maintains 334 seats in Turkish parliament, which is not enough for securing a parliamentary decision to bring the elections forward.