Turkey, Politics

Erdogan calls on all parties to back charter reform

Turkish president says grassroots of every political party should welcome presidential system

22.02.2017
Erdogan calls on all parties to back charter reform ANKARA, TURKEY - FEBRUARY 22: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan delivers a speech during the Award Ceremony of the Foreign Contracting and Technical Consultancy Services at Sheraton Hotel in Ankara, Turkey on February 22, 2017. ( Turkish Presidency / Yasin Bulbul - Anadolu Agency )

By Burcu Arik

ANKARA

A presidential system would ensure confidence and stability in Turkey, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Wednesday.

Speaking at a televised construction industry awards ceremony in Ankara, he said the new system -- due to be voted on in an April 16 referendum -- would resolve conflicts between the three branches of government.

“It means stability and confidence will be ensured,” the president said.

He added: “We need to see the truth. Only the president-prime minister quarrels are enough to question the current system.”

Erdogan called on the supporters of every political party to back constitutional changes that would grant the president wide-ranging executive powers and abolish the post of prime minister.

“I even call on the citizens supporting the Peoples' Democratic Party -- let's make consolidation in this great historic reform and put in place the foundation stones of a strong, leading and prosperous Turkey with unity, solidarity and integrity,” he said.

The Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) and the Republican People’s Party (CHP) are the two parliamentary parties opposed to the changes. Since November, the HDP has seen at least a dozen of its lawmakers jailed over alleged ties to the PKK terror group.

The ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) supported the 18-article constitutional bill last month, when it was passed by 339 votes -- nine more than needed to put the proposals to a referendum.

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