Turkey's premier names early April as referendum date

Binali Yildirim confirms widely assumed date in first half of April 

Turkey's premier names early April as referendum date

World Bulletin / News Desk

Turkey will hold a referendum on constitutional changes that include switching to a presidential system in early April, Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said Wednesday.

The package of 18 constitutional changes that was passed by parliament last weekend is yet to be submitted to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for approval, Yildirim told an Ankara meeting of Justice and Development (AK) Party provincial heads.

“If he approves the amendment, the referendum could be held in the first half of April,” he said.

The referendum must be held on the first Sunday that falls 60 days after a notification is published in the Official Gazette. Such a notification will come once the bill is approved by Erdogan -- making April 2 the likeliest date.

Last week, Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus suggested April 2 or 9 as a possible referendum date.

The changes effectively shift Turkey from a parliamentary system to a presidential one by making the president the head of the executive and abolishing the prime minister’s role.

The reforms also allow the president to be a party leader, call elections, declare a state of emergency and issue legally-binding decrees.

If passed, they will come into effect when presidential and parliamentary elections are held in November 2019.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 25 Ocak 2017, 13:56