Sunday, 30 April, 2017

Turkey's Erdogan approves voting on powerful presidency

Turkish president approves constitutional change bill Turkey's Erdogan approves constitutional change boosting his powers
Darrell Mcdonald | 11 February, 2017, 00:52

The president's approval came eight days after the parliament sent the amendments for his approval after passing it by more than the 330-vote threshold needed to send it to a referendum.

Shortly afterwards, deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus announced that a referendum on the issue was expected on 16 April.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday rubber-stamped proposed constitutional changes that will boost his own powers, paving the way for a referendum on the legislation in April.

Erdogan said a "Turkish-type presidential system" would replace the current, two-headed system, in which there is both a president and prime minister. "I sincerely believe that Turkey will shift to a management model with a more active administration that will provide political and economic stability in full", KurtulmuĊŸ said.

The government said the proposals to create an executive presidency will simplify the government structure, but opponents fear that they will lead to one-man rule in Turkey.

Campaigning for the referendum will take place under a state-of-emergency that has been in place since a failed coup attempt last July.

NAN recalls that on Jan 19, the two largest opposition parties in parliament say the 18-article bill, which could enable Erdogan to rule until 2029, will fuel authoritarianism in the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation member and European Union candidate country.

"Everyone - those who say "yes" and those who say "no" will express their views", he said.

"The system we will bring is different because the president will be an active member of a [political] party with the new system", he explained.

"Can Turkey be dragged into an unpredictable adventure?" Until he occupied the post, the president played a largely ceremonial role in Turkish politics.

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