'We are moving step by step to a strong Turkey': PM

PM Binali Yildirim says referendum will be one of the significant steps for a 'strong Turkey'

'We are moving step by step to a strong Turkey': PM

World Bulletin / News Desk

Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said on Saturday the upcoming referendum on constitutional reform was a process to a way towards a strong Turkey that would never be taken backward.

“Along with the constitutional change, no tutelage power, no lunatic can carry the country backward,” Yildirim told a crowd in the Mediterranean city of Antalya where he attended a mass opening ceremony.

Turkey is going to vote in a key referendum on a constitutional amendment bill that proposes several major changes, including wide-ranging powers for the president and omitting the post of prime minister.

Yildirim noted that following the referendum, which he believes will get enough popular support, Turkey would move forward with hope and determination.

“We are moving step by step to a strong Turkey,” said the Turkish premier.

He stated that the government is on the eve of a step to take the country’s democracy, stability and future plans under guarantee.

Constitutional reform has been discussed since Erdogan was elected president in August 2014.

The 18-article bill was passed by parliament in January, with 339 votes in favor -- nine more than needed to put the proposals to a referendum that will be held on Apr. 16.

The proposals would hand wide-ranging executive powers to the president, such as the power to appoint ministers, and greater control over the judiciary. The post of prime minister will be abolished and the president will be allowed to retain ties to a political party.

The reforms would remove parliament’s power to question ministers or stage a confidence vote in the government. The minimum age for parliamentary candidates would be reduced to 18 and the number of deputies will rise to 600.

Simultaneous parliamentary and presidential elections for a five-year term would be held in November 2019 under the new constitution.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 12 Şubat 2017, 01:01