Opposition leader says PM cannot be elected president unless acquitted

Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) Chairman Devlet Bahceli has said Prime Minister Recep Tayyip ErdoGan cannot be elected president unless he is cleared of corruption and bribery claims speaking to a group of reporters in southeastern Sanliurfa province on sunday, the MHP leader said: “ErdoGan cannot become president. If he wants to become president, he should first be acquitted of the accusations of corruption and bribery that were raised on Dec. 17 [2013].”

According to Bahceli, even though he knows that he has little chance of being elected president, Prime Minister ErdoGan is pushing for election to the post of president. The MHP leader also touched on ErdoGan’s aspirations to switch to the presidential system, which he said will pave the way for the prime minister to become a dictator. “ErdoGan wants to get rid of the parliamentarian system in order to become a dictator,” he stated.

Asked about Constitutional Court President Hasim Kilic’s harsh criticism of the prime minister and his Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government in a speech on April 25, Bahceli said ErdoGan has declared his old friends to be enemies. “The latest example is the Constitutional Court president. He was a close friend of ErdoGan. There was a warm friendship between the judiciary and the government, but this friendship has evolved into enmity recently. It is evident that ErdoGan will soon have no friends.”

Also on sunday, Prime Minister ErdoGan addressed his AK Party supporters in Kayseri and said that the Turkish people will elect their president for the first time in August. “I am sure that the candidate to be nominated by the AK Party will be elected in the first round of votes,” he stated.