Parliament begins work on constitution

Published 19.12.2016 00:00

The Parliamentary Constitutional Commission will begin work on the draft constitutional amendments package tomorrow to accommodate shifting Turkey's current parliamentary system to a presidential one. The 21-article constitutional amendment package was submitted to Parliament on Dec. 10 following the agreement among the two major political parties: the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) and opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP). The General Assembly will first discuss and vote on each article and eventually the whole constitutional amendment package will go for parliamentary votes. Discussions and the voting process at the General Assembly are expected to take between 15 to 20 working days. Each of these voting stages would require a minimum of 330 parliamentary votes.

The proposed constitutional package includes articles to regulate switching to the presidential system. If the amendment package is brought in for a referendum and accepted by the public, the new system will abolish the prime ministry and the president will form the Cabinet and appoint vice presidents and senior level administrators. In addition, he will be also able to continue his or her ties with the affiliated party, which is not allowed under the current system.

If the proposal is passed in Parliament and voted for by the public in a referendum, Turkey will undergo a transitional period until 2019, when the new system will come into full effect. During this period there will be no early elections and both the presidential and parliamentary elections will be held on the same day in 2019 and every five years thereafter.

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