Turkish President Erdoğan assumes Cabinet duties and responsibilities with decree

Some duties and responsibilities of the Turkish Cabinet have been transferred to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan with a new state of emergency decree, known as a KHK, Turkey’s state-run Anadolu news agency reported on Wednesday.

The 74-article Decree No. 477, which was published in Turkey’s Official Gazette on Wednesday, includes regulations concerning the presidential system of governance that was adopted in a referendum in 2017.

Under the new arrangements the post of prime minister will be abolished. The president will select his own Cabinet and chair its meetings, and will also be able to form and regulate ministries and remove civil servants, all without parliamentary approval.

Parliament had granted the existing ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) Cabinet authority to issue decrees without parliamentary approval before the June 24 elections in order to ensure the integration of the new executive system stipulated by the constitutional amendment ahead of the president’s inauguration.

Around 5,000 articles will be amended in which all terminology referring to the Prime Ministry will be deleted and replaced by the word “president.” The Cabinet will abolish all laws that stipulate ministries’ organizational structure as the ministries will henceforth all be appointed by the president.

In order to prevent any discrepancy in the executive system, the Cabinet will also issue laws to ensure the authorization of all institutions until the new system is fully integrated.

The decree makes amendments to laws dating from 1924, just after the founding of the Turkish Republic by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, to 2017, changing all references to the prime minister and Cabinet of ministers to the president and the president’s office.

The rules, bylaws and regulations that were in force before the decree was promulgated will remain valid as long as they were not abrogated. The new changes will become effective when President Erdoğan, who was re-elected on June 24, takes the oath of office in Parliament on July 9.

Upon the president’s inauguration, a new government will be formed and the cabinet’s authority to issue decrees will end. The president-elect will then issue another decree, after which the new ministries will be formed and the new organizational framework will be determined.

There will be 16 ministries in total, and after the formation of the ministries with the decree new ministers will be appointed by President Erdoğan. There is no time limit for the appointment of the ministers, but 16 ministers will reportedly be appointed at the same time. After the new ministers take office, the bureaucrats will be appointed.

Meanwhile, Turkey’s Supreme Election Board (YSK) on Wednesday announced the official results of the presidential and parliamentary elections held on June 24.

According to the YSK, President Erdoğan garnered 52,59 percent of the vote, whereas main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) candidate Muharrem İnce had 30,64 percent, pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) candidate Selahattin Demirtaş received 8,4 percent and the İYİ Party’s Meral Akşener came in with 7,29 percent.

For the parliamentary elections, the official YSK results indicate that the ruling AKP took 42,56 percent of the vote; the CHP, 22,65 percent; the HDP, 11,70 percent; the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), 11,10 percent; the İYİ Party, 9,96 percent; the Felicity Party (SP), 1,34 percent; and the Homeland Party (VP) received 0,23 percent.

These results gave the AKP 295 seats in Parliament and its ally, the MHP, 49. The CHP will have 146 seats, while HDP will have 67 and the İYİ Party 43 in the next legislative term.

As of 5 p.m. local time on July 4, the YSK will no longer accept any objections to the election results. YSK chairman Sadi Güven said there had been 13 objections to the results since June 24 and that the board was able to announce the results once they had been adjudicated. Güven also told reporters he had presented the presidential mandate to the parliament speaker’s office. (SCF with turkishminute.com)

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