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Turkey to hold constitutional referendum on April 16

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-02-11 19:12

ANKARA - Turkey's Supreme Election Board announced on Saturday that a constitutional referendum will be hold on April 16, Turkish broadcaster NTV reported.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan approved constitutional amendments on Friday, which will bring drastic changes to the country's political system, including a shift to an executive presidential system from the current parliamentary system, paving way for a referendum.

On Dec 30, 2016, a constitutional committee of deputies from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) submitted a proposed bill to Parliament for ratification.

The parliament passed the constitutional amendment on Jan 21 in two rounds of voting for 18 articles. A total of 339 deputies voted in favor of the amendment, exceeding the 330-vote threshold to bring it to a referendum.

The constitutional change will bring a shift of regime change in Turkey with a strong partisan presidential system that will take over all authorities of the prime minister and cabinet.

According to the constitutional amendment, the president will exercise all the authorities of the prime minister and cabinet and possess the authority to issue decrees, appoint vice presidents and cabinet members from outside the parliament.

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