Turkey submits bill to expand power of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan

The reforms lead to switching to an executive presidency like that seen in the United States or France

Sunday 11 December 2016 10:08
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan

Turkey’s ruling party has submitted a bill to expand the powers of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The reforms would see the country switching to an executive presidency like that seen in the United States or France.

Mr Erdogan has been seeking the change in the constitution since 2014, but critics have accused him of becoming increasingly authoritarian.

The President said he hoped the bill would receive enough support to have the case put to the public in the form of a referendum.

“I hope that it will pass the parliament in a successful vote exceeding 330 to call a referendum,” Mr Erdogan said at a rally in Istanbul, according to AFP. “God willing, it will be the beginning of a new era.”

Mr Erdogan’s supporters say it will help to make the political system more efficient and the move is needed, especially after the military coup in July.

His opponents, however, believe the move could lead to the nation becoming a one-party state.

Deputy Prime Minister Nurettin Canikli said that a consensus had been agreed between the National Movement Party and the ruling Justice and Development Party.

Mr Canikli suggested a referendum could take place in March, April or May.

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