Constitutional Referendum to take place on 16th April


Turkey’s Supreme Board of Election has announced that a constitutional referendum will be held on April 16.

The referendum, which is really all about making President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan an executive president with wide ranging powers, has some eighteen proposals on which people are expected to vote.

The most important change amends Article 104 to make the president head of state and head of government with wide ranging powers. The proposals also include raising the number of seats in the Grand National Assembly from 550 to 600.

The Republican People’s Party (CHP), Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) and both Independents oppose the proposed changes as do most civil society groups. The president’s Justice and Development Party (AKP are in favour of the changes although some MPs are said to be uncomfortable with the wide ranging powers being given to one office. The Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), which had opposed changes giving the president more powers, is now supporting the proposals although it is known to be split on the issue.

The latest opinion polls suggest that the No vote is at 48% with the Yes vote at 41%.

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