12:06 GMT23 January 2021
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    Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that amendments to the Turkish Constitution, introducing a full presidential system, may be put to the referendum by the end of the week.

    ANKARA (Sputnik) Amendments to the Turkish Constitution, introducing a full presidential system, may be put to the referendum by the end of the week, the country's president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, said Friday.

    "Article 8 [on the expansion of presidential powers] has been passed. The presidential system is a well-established approach in the developed countries. If the parliament would work just as stable, then this week, after a discussion of the remaining clauses of the draft, constitutional amendments would be put to a referendum. If the parliament becomes dysfunctional, it would be possible to consider early elections," Erdogan said as quoted by NTV broadcaster.

    Under Article 8, the president will have the powers to appoint and dismiss ministers. The provision passed the parliament early on Friday with 340 votes in favor to 135 against. Voting on the remaining 10 articles is set to continue through the day.

    If the entire package is adopted with the approval of at least 330 lawmakers, a national referendum will be held on the issue. However, if 367 or more lawmakers support the bill, it can be passed into law without a referendum.

    The controversial bill is described as a power-grab by Turkey's opposition Republican People's Party and pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party.

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