Turkey held referendum on amendments to the Constitution

17 April 2017

On 16 April, a referendum on the transition from parliamentary to presidential form of government was held in Turkey. According to preliminary data, supporters of the constitutional reform won 51.2% of the vote, which is 1.25 million more comparing to opponents.

Earlier, constitutional amendments to the presidential system were approved by Turkish Parliament and signed by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The complex of changes to 18 articles of the Turkish Constitution assume that the President becomes the head of the state system, he will be empowered to appoint vice-presidents, ministers and high-ranking officials. The post of prime minister will be abolished. Decisions on the creation, dissolution, powers, duties and structure of ministries will be determined in accordance with the decrees of the President.

Also, the President will have the right to declare the state of emergency, while Parliament will be entitled to approve this decision. The head of state will be able to issue other decrees that come into force without prior approval of Parliament, but may be annulled.

The President can be free to stay with his political party. The number of Parliament deputies increases from 550 to 600. The age for candidates for elected posts is reduced from 25 to 18 years. Decisions on the re-election can be made by both Parliament and the President. They will be elected for five years, while the head of state will be able to hold the presidency for no more than two terms. The President gets the right to dissolve Parliament, but he himself must be re-elected.

The next presidential and parliamentary elections will be both held on 3 November 2019, after that new provisions will come into force.

55.3 million Turkish citizens had the opportunity to vote at the referendum, the voting turnout was 87.2%.

According to the preliminary results, supporters of transition to the presidential system won in 48 of 81 Turkish provinces.

According to Recep Erdogan, the decision taken by Turkish citizens is historic.

"Let the results of the referendum be for the benefit of our country. Voting has become an important indicator that people are defending their country, their future. On that day, a historic decision was taken regarding the Turkish leadership system," Erdogan told journalists in Ankara.

Adapted from RIA Novosti

Photo: RIA Novosti

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