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Erdogan Okays Reform Bill to Extend Presidential Power
Erdogan Okays Reform Bill to Extend Presidential Power

Erdogan Okays Reform Bill to Extend Presidential Power

Erdogan Okays Reform Bill to Extend Presidential Power

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has approved a constitutional reform bill, according to his office, to pave the way for a referendum on an amendments package that seeks to extend his powers.

The move on Friday came weeks after Turkey's Parliament approved a new 18-article constitution to create an executive presidency along the lines of that in the United States and France, Aljazeera reported.

The referendum "is planned to take place on April 16", deputy prime minister, Numan Kurtulmus, said in comments broadcast on state-run TRT television. 

The changes would enable the president to issue decrees, declare emergency rule, appoint ministers and top state officials and dissolve parliament—amendments that the two main opposition parties say strip away balances to Erdogan's power. The proposed constitution, which would create an executive presidency for the first time in modern Turkey, also foresees the creation of vice presidents and the abolition of the office of the prime minister.

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