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Erdogan’s plans for executive presidency firm up

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s plans to amass even more power have received a welcome boost from his ultranationalist rival, and a referendum on an executive presidency could be held as early as April, his lieutenants now say.
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan delivers a speech during the 23rd World Energy Congress in Istanbul, Turkey, October 10, 2016. REUTERS/Murad Sezer - RTSRM4N

A key official in Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has announced that a referendum to change Turkey’s parliamentary system to an executive presidency may be held in April, fueling further debate about the merits of expanding the powers of the country’s authoritarian President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Deputy AKP chairman Hayati Yazici told the NTV news channel Oct. 19 that a package of constitutional amendments paving the way for a presidential system could be taken up by the parliament in January and put to a referendum in April. His comments came a day after Prime Minister Binali Yildirim told the parliament that his AKP was working on just such a bill.

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