Turkey’s referendum on direct election of the president

I will blame the San Diego fires for my completing forgetting about what earlier in the year had seemed like such a big deal: Turkey’s referendum on whether to move to direct election of the president. (Click on the country name in the “planted in” line for earlier information on Turkish elections.)

Well, not only the fires–also the fact that after the incumbent AK party did so well in the parliamentary elections in July, it seemed like a foregone conclusion.

On 21 October, 69% voted in favor of directly electing future presidents. Turnout was 67% (compared with 80% for the previous parliamentary elections).

The first direct election–by majority runoff–will be in 2014. The next parliamentary election is due in 2012; the amendments cut the terms to 5 and 4, respectively. Formerly it was 5 for parliament and 7 for president, with the latter elected by parliament. (The dates in this paragraph have been corrected.)

4 thoughts on “Turkey’s referendum on direct election of the president

  1. Won’t the shorten parliamentary term go into effect until 2012? Or does the ammendment say it goes effect immediately.

    I don’t understand why unsynchronized parliamentary and presidential elections. Isn’t costly to have seprate elections? Wouldn’t it be cheaper to have the President elected at the same time as parliament?

  2. That is correct: All these changes take effect with the next terms, so all the dates I mentioned originally are incorrect. I will change them. Thanks for catching this.

    As for nonconcurrent elections, rather few premier-presidential systems have concurrent elections. So, whether it is a good idea or not, Turkey will be joining a club with a rather substantial membership.

  3. Pingback: Turkey referendum: Latin Americanization on the road to autocracy | Fruits and Votes

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