İYİ Party to take appeal against Erdoğan’s candidacy to top court if rejected by election body

The opposition İYİ (Good) Party has said that if the Supreme Election Council (YSK) rejects their appeal against Erdoğan’s presidential candidacy for the third time, they will file an application with the Constitutional Court.

İYİ (Good) Party General Secretary Uğur Poyraz addresses a meeting in this file photo.

Duvar English

İYİ (Good) Party General Secretary Uğur Poyraz has said that if their appeal against President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s presidential candidacy is rejected by the Supreme Election Council (YSK), they will take the issue to the Constitutional Court.

He told online news outlet T24 that the current Constitution text explicitly states that one person can be elected as president at most twice. “There is nothing to discuss…Everything is very simple. Erdoğan was elected in 2014. He was elected (for the second time) in 2018.”

"What kind of a statement does the (ruling Justice and Development Party) AKP make? ‘The chronometer has been set to zero in 2018.’ Are we at a swimming race, have we formed a new state? Have they written the Constitutional from scratch?”

Several opposition parties, including İYİ Party, DEVA Party, Homeland Party, Left Party, and People’s Liberation Party, have filed separate applications at the YSK saying that it was illegal for Erdoğan to run for presidency once again.

Erdoğan took office twice, one under the old parliamentary system (in the August 2014 elections) and one under the new presidential system (in the June 2018 elections).

Although the Constitution says a person can be elected president at most two times, the AKP argues that there is no legal obstacle with regards to Erdoğan’s candidacy because the presidency has assumed a different role with the 2017 constitutional reform and elections prior to that should not be taken into account for the debate in question. 

Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ argued on March 29 that there is no “constitutional or legal obstacle” for Erdoğan’s candidacy. “The elections in which the Constitution’s new 101st article was first implemented is the Presidential and Parliamentary elections held on June 24, 2018. Our President Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was elected as the President who is the head of the state and executive organ on June 24, 2018,” he said.

The Constitution’s 101st article that Bozdağ referred to reads as follows: “The President of the Republic’s term of office shall be five years. A person may be elected as the President of the Republic for two terms at most.”