May 24, 2016 / 8:12 AM / 2 years ago

Turkish nationalists say presidential system would be path to despotism

ANKARA (Reuters) - The veteran leader of Turkey’s nationalist opposition, Devlet Bahceli, said on Tuesday he was strongly against a presidential system in Turkey, saying it would inevitably lead to despotism and would be costly for the country in the long term.

Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahceli addresses his supporters during an election rally for Turkey's June 7 parliamentary election, in Istanbul, Turkey May 31, 2015. REUTERS/Osman Orsal/File Photo

The ruling AK Party has been hoping for support in parliament from the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) to change the constitution and introduce an executive presidential system, or as an interim measure, a system in which the head of state is allowed to retain his party ties.

Speaking in parliament, Bahceli said he was strongly opposed to either system. The MHP is embroiled in a leadership battle after several hundred of its members launched a bid to oust Bahceli, its leader for much of the last two decades.

Writing by Ece Toksabay; Editing by Nick Tattersall

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