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Bahçeli says AKP shared draft constitution with his party

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Amid debates over a change in constitution in accordance with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s determination to switch to a presidential system of governance, Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) Chairman Devlet Bahçeli said on Tuesday that the government had shared a draft of the constitution with his party.

Bahçeli, who has been criticized since the June 7, 2015 elections for lending support to the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), said the draft proposal includes a complete change of constitution. However, Bahçeli added that certain amendments would be given priority.

In response to a question, Bahçeli announced that the draft constitution refers to the head of state as the president (cumhurbaşkanı) just as in the existing system, instead of executive president (başkan). In Turkish the two words for president have different nuances.

Bahçeli also urged the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) to convene with the prime minister to debate the constitutional draft and to keep the door open for the government.

On Monday CHP Chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu said that as a party, they would not oppose a presidential system until they see the proposal.




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