Prime Minister Bü lent Ecevit initially feared that the search for a new president could topple his one-year-old tripartite coalition and scupper the ambitious dis-inflation and economic stabilisation International Monetary Fund package begun in January.
For the sake of stability, Ecevit had campaigned for a change to the constitution to allow the re-election of Süleyman Demirel, but parliament – the only body to vote for a new president – rejected this, and the search began for candidates.
Media support for a second term for Demirel had been weak and the populace felt it was time to see a new face, and preferably a younger one. But no one was asking them anyway. Society was ready for a change, but it was suspected that the centre would disregard the ideal profile put forward by the media, civil organisations and the public in favour of a colourless yes-man who would maintain the status quo – there were no women candidates.