The public should have say on charter reform

The best way is going to the people even if the proposed changes get 367 votes in parliament, says Numan Kurtulmus

The public should have say on charter reform

World Bulletin / News Desk

The public should be asked about constitutional changes even if the necessary votes are there in parliament, said Turkey's deputy prime minister Thursday.

Numan Kurtulmus told state-run news channel TRT Haber that constitutional changes are one of the most important decisions facing Turkey.

"The best way is going to the people even if it [the proposed change] gets 367 votes in parliament," he said.

He added that the constitutional change process has been managed very well and clearly so far.

The government has long sought to replace the current parliamentary system with a presidential one, saying there are flaws in the setup, which also holds back Turkey’s development.

Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said Thursday following a meeting with opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahceli that Turkey will likely hold a constitutional referendum in early summer 2017.

Last month, Yildirim said a committee within the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party had completed its work on a draft constitution that also includes items for a presidential system.

The proposed changes will be put to a public referendum even if the government has the necessary votes in parliament to avoid the need for one, Yildirim said.

The new constitutional draft needs 330 votes to pave the way for a referendum.

The AK Party, with 316 seats, and the MHP, with 40, both back the bill.

Last Mod: 02 Aralık 2016, 00:45
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