Turkey will hold a referendum on April 16 on proposed changes to the constitution that would replace its parliamentary system with the executive presidency, the Turkish Supreme Board of Elections announced on Saturday.
The announcement was made by the board's chairman Sadi Guven a day after Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan approved the constitutional reform bill.
Last month, the Turkish parliament approved the 18-article bill with 339 votes in favour, nine more than what was needed to put the proposals to a referendum.
President Erdogan had said the reform would provide stability at a time of turmoil and prevent a return to the fragile coalitions of the past. But critics say the reforms will give excessive powers to the president.
If the changes pass the referendum, the first of simultaneous parliamentary and presidential elections for a five-year term would be held in November 2019.