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Turkey ruling party proposes presidential system

Ruling party in Turkey submits plan to transform current parliamentary system to presidency; opposition voices concern over vast power to be given to Erdogan in case of transformation

AFP , Tuesday 6 Nov 2012
Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan (Photo: Reuters)
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Turkey's ruling party submitted plans Tuesday to transform the current parliamentary system into a presidency, a move seen as paving the way for Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to take over the top post.

The controversial proposal to parliament by Erdogan's Justice and Development Party (AKP) aims to give broader powers to the president, who currently has a largely ceremonial role.

"We think it's appropriate for Turkey to switch to a presidential system, which generates stability, rather than to waste the country's energy on debates," Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag told reporters.

Erdogan, who celebrated 10 years in office at the weekend, has made no secret of his desire to run for president in 2014 as he cannot seek another term as prime minister, according to party rules.

His opponents have until now categorically opposed a presidential system in the predominantly Muslim and staunchly secular state, saying it would give Erdogan too much power. 

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