Turkish constitutional commission approves draft bill

Parliament is now set to debate the bill in January after it was cleared by the commission early on Friday.

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

The bill proposes enhancing the executive powers of the president while abolishing the position of prime minister. (File photo)

A Turkish parliamentary committee approved a bill proposing a set of constitutional changes, including a switch to a presidential system from the current parliamentary one on Friday.

Debate on the bill is expected to begin in the parliament's main assembly in January. The result of the vote will determine whether a referendum is held.

The proposed law gives executive powers to the president and vice presidents while abolishing the position of prime minister.

It also states the Turkish president should be at least 40-years old and will be elected every five years and serve a maximum of two terms. The president would not be required to leave their political party once elected, unlike in the current constitution.

The bill also proposes lowering the age of candidacy for parliament from 25 to 18 and increasing the number of parliamentarians from 550 to 600 in accordance with Turkey’s growing population.

Following a 17-hour marathon the commission approved the draft early on Friday. The draft was presented to the commission on Dec. 10 with 21 articles, but the approved version was reduced to 18 articles.

TRTWorld and agencies