Presidentialism à la Turka or what? The (missing) logic behind the constitutional amendments

Erdoğan’s efforts to inscribe his understanding of presidential domination into the Turkish constitution should not be mistaken for a systematic turn towards a presidential model of government. The inbuilt inconsistencies of the reform may well develop some serious unintended side effects causing political deadlock and institutional breakdown in the long run.

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New Constitutional Amendment Proposal in Turkey: A Threat to Pluralistic Democracy!

Turkey will hold a referendum on a fundamental constitutional reform, probably in April. The designed political regime is neither parliamentarism nor presidentialism. Although the government calls the new political regime as a “Turkish type of presidentialism” with a populist discourse; in reality, the new regime will bring a kind of “delegative democracy”, which is seen usually in the South American, sub-Saharan African and in central Asian countries.

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Turkey’s draft constitutional amendments: harking back to 1876?

In the last month of 2016, Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the fourth biggest party, the National Movement Party (MHP) unveiled a controversial new draft constitution which aims at a total system change. Initially, the most striking changes include the strengthening of the presidency with several new powers and no accountability to the judiciary. Furthermore, the way is cleared for Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to rule the country until 2029, and who knows – maybe even longer.

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Italy before the Constitutional Referendum: "I do not see any Armageddon Scenario"

On Sunday, Italy will vote on the largest constitutional reform in recent history. Francesco Clementi, constitutional lawyer from the University of Perugia and one of the staunchest supporters of the reform, answers our questions about what will happen in case of a NO or a YES victory.

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Stabilität als Fluchtpunkt der italienischen Verfassungsreform – auf welchem Weg und um welchem Preis?

Die Wahlkarten sind versandt, die Fernsehanstalten haben Für und Wider in Dutzenden Debatten abgewogen, die staatliche Fluggesellschaft offeriert vergünstigte Tickets für die Anreise – alles scheint gerichtet für das Verfassungsreferendum in Italien am 4. Dezember dieses Jahres. Ministerratspräsident Matteo Renzi verspricht nicht weniger als den Wandel zum „stabilsten Land Europas.“ Wird das gelingen? Und wenn ja, um welchen Preis?

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Italian Constitutional Referendum: Voting for Structural Reform or Constitutional Transformation?

As the distance between political elites and the population in Europe increases, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s plans of constitutional reform further impoverish political representation in Italy – both with respect to input and output of the process. That is why the opponents of the reform are gaining ever more traction among Italian voters and could in the end prevail.

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“De-constitutionalism” in Turkey?

Can “de-” be a modifier to describe the constitutionalism in a country? "De-constitutionalism" is what Prof. Kemal Gözler, a constitutional law scholar, has termed the current state of constitutionalism in Turkey. His argument is that constitutional bad faith practices employed by the constitutional institutions (mainly the executive, but also the judiciary) lead one to hold the view that there is no more a (valid) constitution in Turkey. Whatever it is termed, one thing is certain: that Turkey is undergoing a constitutional deadlock or crisis, and its indicators can be observed on many occasions.

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Polish Constitutional crisis goes to Europe – or does it?

The latest move by the Polish government in its attempt to disembowel the Constitutional Court looks, on first sight, like a conciliatory gesture: The Minister of Foreign Affairs has submitted two proposals amending the Act on the Constitutional Court to examination by the Venice Commission, the expert body on constitutional issues of the Council of Europe. Does this turn to Europe signal a change of heart in the revolutionary zeal on the part of the Polish government? Not so fast. On closer inspection, the request appears conspicuously ambiguous. The motion does not even specify in sufficient detail what text(s) the Venice Commission is to provide its opinion on.

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