ADDS COMMENTS FROM CHAIR OF PLANNING AND BUDGET COMMITTEE
By Emin Avundukluoglu
ANKARA (AA) - Turkey's main opposition leader criticized the presentation of the country's 2020 budget Monday, saying it should have been done by the president and not the vice president.
"Normally, Mr. President should have come here. This is his budget. He should have presented the budget," Kemal Kilicdaroglu, leader of the Republican People's Party (CHP), told lawmakers on the first day of the 2020 budget debate.
Kilicdaroglu called on lawmakers to say "stop" to the budget's presentation method.
"This is the budget of 82 million [Turkish people]...You collect tax from 82 million, but a civil servant will present the budget by coming here," he added.
Kilicdaroglu's remarks came shortly after Vice President Fuat Oktay presented the budget.
Turkish citizens voted in a nationwide referendum in April 2017 to switch from a parliamentary system to an executive presidential system of governance.
According to the system, vice presidents and ministers can be appointed and removed by the president.
Lutfi Elvan, the chair of the parliament's planning and budget committee, reacted to Kilicdaroglu’s remarks.
"The vice presidency is defined in the constitution as giving him the authority to represent the president," Elvan said his budget speech.
"The vice president is a member of the cabinet and has legislative immunity."