[UPDATE] Kılıçdaroğlu asks Bahçeli for appointment to discuss constitutional amendments

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Turkey's main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu (L) and Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli pray during the funeral ceremony in Ankara of Yunus Emre Duran, one of 14 Turkish soldiers killed in a car bomb attack in Kayseri, on Dec. 18, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / Adem ALTAN

After Parliament completed the first round of voting on Sunday night on a constitutional amendment package that grants the president extensive powers, Republican People’s Party (CHP) Chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu requested an appointment with Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli to discuss the situation.

Bahçeli provided substantial support to the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) for its proposal to amend the constitution, while Kılıçdaroğlu opposed the legislation.

The two are expected to meet on Wednesday at Parliament.

Meanwhile in series of tweets from his personal account on Monday, Bahçeli slammed the CHP and its administration for trying to block debates on the constitutional amendments in Parliament as well as a national referendum.

The CHP, which lost all hope of people [electing it as a government], strayed from the path that leads to [the referendum],” Bahçeli wrote.

He further said: “The CHP and its chaos alliance have tried to seize people’s right to protect their future by way of unimaginable scenarios. They targeted our deputies by publicizing their telephone numbers on social media.”

On the other hand, CHP deputy group chairman Özgür Özel said his party would take the constitutional reform package that will officially bring an executive presidential system to Turkey to the country’s Constitutional Court for cancellation if it is passed by Parliament.

The first round of voting on the 18-article amendment package was done on Sunday. The ruling AKP plans to hold the second round by Wednesday and will complete the entire process by Jan. 21.

Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmuş said if the constitutional amendments are passed by Parliament, Turkey would hold a referendum in April.

After Parliament makes its decision [about the proposed amendments], the best thing to do is to go to a referendum in the shortest time possible. Most probably, a referendum will be held in early April,” Kurtulmuş said during an interview on the A Haber news channel on Monday.

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