Erdogan Closer to His Dream as Turkish MPs Approve Constitutional Change
Islam Times - During the first round of voting on the constitutional changes presented by the ruling party, Turkish parliament members gave an approval vote to the draft on Monday.
The draft is highly supported by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan who seeks enhancing his powers through changing political system of Turkey into a presidential one.
The lawmakers started debating the draft on Monday. It was then put to its first vote at the 550-member legislature, with 338 supporting debates on the proposed 18-article constitution.
The proposal needs the support of at least 330 deputies at the parliament to qualify for being put to national referendum.
The ruling Justice and Development Party, which has been founded by Erdogan, has 316 deputies eligible to vote on the bill and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) 39. The latter is widely known as the “AKP’s lifeline,” having repeatedly lent it political support at defining junctures.
The first vote is largely viewed as a foretaste of how the bill will be treated throughout the rest of the debates, which comprise two readings and are expected to take some two weeks.
Under the new rules, the president can also take back the helm of the ruling party, and appoint and dismiss deputy presidents as well ministers at will.
Those in favor say it will spearhead the country’s exit out of the current volatility, marked by sporadic terror attacks and the aftereffects of last July’s failed coup.
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