Turkish MPs vote again on election reforms

Turkish lawmakers met Monday for a fresh round of voting on constitutional changes rejected last week by President Ahmet Necdet Sezer that would see his successor elected by popular vote.

Turkish MPs vote again on election reforms
Turkish lawmakers met Monday for a fresh round of voting on constitutional changes rejected last week by President Ahmet Necdet Sezer that would see his successor elected by popular vote.

There was "no justifiable and acceptable reason or necessity" to introduce a two-round popular presidential vote, said Sezer, a former head of the Constitutional Court.

But the AKP responded by saying it would send back the bill through parliament for a second time -- and without changes.

If the amendments are voted for a second time unchanged, Sezer must either approve them or submit them to a referendum.

Under Turkish law, constitutional amendments are voted in two readings, at least 48 hours apart. The second round of voting was expected on Thursday.

The bill also calls for a once-renewable five-year presidential mandate instead of the current single, seven-year term and sets general elections every four years instead of every five years.

The AKP says the amendments are the solution to a political crisis sparked by the recent presidential election.

Recent public opinion surveys show that after four and a half years in power, the AKP is still Turkey's most popular party, leading its rivals in the badly fractured opposition by a wide margin.

Sezer's seven-year term expired on May 16 and he is currently serving as acting head of state.

Last Mod: 28 Mayıs 2007, 14:47
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