Turkish constitution change bill headed for parliament

Bill that proposes change in governing system clears parliamentary committee

Turkish constitution change bill headed for parliament

World Bulletin / News Desk

 A Turkish parliamentary committee early Friday passed a bill on constitutional change that proposes a switch to a presidential system of governance.

The bill, submitted by the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party’s 316 lawmakers, will now be presented to parliament after passing through the committee following nine days of talks.

It gives the executive power to the president and vice presidents while abolishing the post of prime minister, lowers the age of candidacy for parliament from 25 to 18, and increases the number of MPs from 550 to 600 in accordance with the growing population, among other amendments.

AK Party and Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) have struck an agreement over constitutional change, which will help them carry the bill to a referendum.

Constitutional change -- in particular, the call for a presidential system -- has been on the political agenda since Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the former prime minister and AK Party leader, was elected Turkey's president in August 2014.

That election was the first time a Turkish president was directly chosen by popular vote.

In the current parliamentary model, Turkish people vote for 550 members of parliament. The government is formed by minimum number of 276 lawmakers.

In the proposed presidential system, the electorate would vote for a person to form a government independently of parliament, with no need of a vote of confidence.

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Güncelleme Tarihi: 30 Aralık 2016, 08:24
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