Ankara (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Turkey’s Parliament has approved by a large majority a package of constitutional reforms which, among other things, allow the entire population to go to the polls to choose the new president of the Republic. So far, it has been MPs who have chosen the person to fill this post.
The amendment was proposed by the majority AKP party of moderate Muslim leanings, after two failed bids to have their candidate, Abdullah Gul, elected by parliament. However, the reform package may be vetoed by the current President, Sezer, who is a secularist.
The reforms approved include a reduction of the presidential term from seven to five years, which may be renewed. The date of the election, brought forward to 22 July in a bid to ease the country’s political crisis, has been confirmed.
The leaders of the majority party are satisfied, because they feel the way ahead is being cleared for their candidate. After Gul’s bid to become president failed, they withdrew his candidature to “entrust the matter to all the Turks”.