Gov't, MHP agree on all 12 articles in new constitutional proposal

MERVE AYDOĞAN @mgulaydogan
Published 07.12.2016 00:00
Updated 07.12.2016 00:35

On his way to Moscow for an official visit with President Vladimir Putin, Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım has stated that the widely discussed constitutional amendment package, which includes the new presidency system, will be presented in Parliament this week.

Prime Minister Yıldırım further noted that the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) and the opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) have agreed upon all 12 articles of the amendment package. While Yıldırım and MHP Chairman Devlet Bahçeli announced last week that the two parties had reached an agreement on the constitutional amendments, the prime minister informed members of the media that the schedule of the proposed draft to switch the governing system to a presidential one will be determined after the proposal is presented in Parliament, affirming that the former will occur this week.

Approaching discussions on the constitutional amendment package using the "staircase method," the AK Party and MHP held budget talks prior to which Prime Minister Yıldırım said, "The deputies are still discussing some points about the package. They are reporting on these meetings to us and Chairman Bahçeli. Review of the proposal will continue until it is introduced to Parliament. The package will also be discussed by the Constitutional Commission."

However, shortly after making these statements on Monday Yıldırım gave partial details of the proposal and said the AK Party is determined to reduce the age of political candidacy to 18, adding that the final version of the proposal is to be presented upon his return from Russia. If the proposal is accepted by Parliament and receives enough votes to bring it to a referendum, the prime minister stated that there will be an "adjustment process" that will last until 2019.

As the prime minister informed the press about the 12 articles to be addressed in the presidential system talks, he also said yesterday, while standing on the tarmac at the prime ministerial plane, that "There are many additional articles that will be affected by the 12 said articles ... The new system does not include extensive descriptions or institutions by name. The former verbiage used for the parliamentary system must be removed ... There are also temporary and transitory articles. We are currently sorting out these matters." Regarding public support for the new presidential system, the prime minister said that there has been an increasing amount of support shown by the public. As soon as the bill enters Parliament and receives the required 330 minimum parliamentary votes, it will be brought to a referendum in which the public will make the final decision on what will happen in spring of 2017.

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