Turkish parliamentary panel approves constitutional reform

Ankara, Dec 30 (IANS) A Turkish parliamentary commission on Friday approved the controversial constitutional reform for introducing a presidential system, and it will now be put to vote in the coming weeks.

After the commission approved 18 of the 21 articles proposed by the ruling Islamist party AKP, the general assembly could debate the modifications and put these to vote in the second week of January, Efe news reported.

If the reform, seeking to bestow executive powers on the current President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, is approved by a three-fifths majority, AKP — which enjoys the support of the opposition MHP party — can call for a referendum.

It also proposes to hold general elections every five years, instead of the current every four years.

The number of the Constitutional Court members will also be decreased from 17 to 15, Anadolu News Agency reported.

According to the draft, the next parliamentary and presidential elections will take place on November 3, 2019.

–IANS

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