Turkey: Constitutional change bill sent to presidency

President has 15 days to approve or reject bill which will set exact date for referendum on new constitution

Turkey: Constitutional change bill sent to presidency

World Bulletin / News Desk

Turkey’s constitutional change bill was delivered to the presidency on Thursday in order to set a referendum date, according to parliamentary sources.

The sources said the bill was submitted for the president's approval.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will have 15 days to approve or reject the bill.

If approved, it will be published in the country’s Official Gazette, setting the date for a vote.

The referendum is expected to be held on either April 9 or April 16.

On January 20, Turkish lawmakers voted in favor of the new constitutional reform package which regulates parliamentary and presidential elections.

Constitutional reform and the change to a presidential system has been on the political agenda since Erdogan, a former prime minister and Justice and Development (AK) Party leader, was elected president in August 2014.

This marked the first time a Turkish president had been directly chosen by popular vote.

On Dec. 30, a constitutional committee of deputies from the ruling AK Party and the opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) submitted a proposed bill to parliament for ratification.

Two opposition parties, the People’s Republican Party (CHP) and Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), remain opposed to the proposed changes.

Aside from the change to an executive presidency, other reforms include allowing the president to maintain party political affiliation.

There will be changes to Turkey’s highest judicial body, which would be renamed while retaining its independence and own budget.

It also sets 2019 as the date for Turkey’s next presidential and parliamentary elections.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 02 Şubat 2017, 22:31