Turkish president sends popular vote to referendum

Turkish President Ahmet Necdet Sezer on Friday refused to agree to constitutional changes legislated by parliament that would see the president elected by popular vote, instead sending the proposed changes to a referendum.

Turkish president sends popular vote to referendum
Turkish President Ahmet Necdet Sezer on Friday refused to agree to constitutional changes legislated by parliament that would see the president elected by popular vote, instead sending the proposed changes to a referendum, Anadolu news agency reported.

In addition to having the president elected by a popular vote, instead of by parliament, the constitutional change package also included measures to allow the president to serve a once renewable five-year term, down from the current single seven-year term, and would reduce the parliamentary term from five to four years.

Sezer had previously vetoed the constitutional changes but after they were again passed by parliament in the same form his only choice was to pass the changes or send them to a referendum.

The ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) introduced the changes in order to overcome a deadlock over presidential elections.

After the Constitutional Court ruled that two-thirds of the 550- seat parliament must be present in order for a presidential vote to take place the AK Party found it impossible to get the presidential voting process started.

Parliament has already voted to go to early elections on July 22 but due to procedural reasons it will not be possible to have the referendum on the same day.
Last Mod: 15 Haziran 2007, 14:42
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