17 April 2014, Thursday
Today's Zaman

Prime minister counters businessmen’s advice

9 May 2007, Wednesday /TODAY’S ZAMAN
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Tuesday that "Parliament knows what to do better" than the Turkish Industrialists and Businessmen's Association (TÜSİAD), whose president recently suggested that Parliament should stop working on a constitutional amendment package for now, and consider the changes after the elections, when new legislators will have been voted in.
The prime minister responded to questions from press members, shortly before a meeting of his party's Central Decision and Administration Board (MKYK) meeting.In response to a question on his views of the recent marriages of center right and left, the prime minister said he wished them the best and said, “It is their decision.” When asked about a recent constitutional court rejection of an application by the Young Party (GP) to reset the election date to some time before July 22, he said, “Everything is clear regarding that topic. We have been pushing for June 24 or July 1 all along, but this was changed by the Parliament’s Constitutional Committee.”

On Monday TÜSİAD said in a written statement that the new Parliament should allow more time to discuss such a dramatic change in the system, for the sake of more public support and transparency. The Turkish government decided to change the system to allow direct presidential elections, in order to overcome the gridlock created after the Constitutional Court decided to annul the first round of the presidential election, on the grounds that at least 367 deputies had to be present for the elections to be valid.

On the other hand, the undersecretary of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Professor Ömer Dinçer, resigned from his post to be able to stand for general elections to be held on July 22 as a deputy candidate. Dinçer, who applied to be a deputy for the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) reportedly upon Prime Minister Erdoğan’s wish, handed in his resignation letter on Tuesday noon. Having served as the undersecretary of the prime minister since Nov. 21, 2003, Dinçer was held in very high regard by Erdoğan, owing to his performance in the post.

Other bureaucrats who resigned from their posts to be able to stand for general elections were deputy undersecretaries Mustafa Çetin (AK Party), and Özgün Ökmen (the Democrat Party). Also Professor Hasan Tahsin Fendoğlu, who had been appointed to his post last week as chief advisor to the prime minister, resigned to run for deputyship (AK Party). Director General of Emergency Management in the Prime Minister’s Office Hasan İpek (AK Party), the prime minister’s advisors Mehmet Duman (AK Party), Bahattin Cebeci (AK Party), Füsun İpek, from the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), and Sait Yusuf (MHP) resigned from their posts to run for deputyship.

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