MP: Turkish people will vote for change in constitution
Azerbaijan, Baku, Aug. 31 / Trend U.Sadikhova /
A member of parliament from Turkey's ruling party said today that an upcoming referendum to amend the Constitution will further democratize the country.
Justice and Development Party (AKP) MP Osman Coskun said the people will vote on changes to the Constitution in a referendum on Sept. 12.
"The people will vote to amend the constitution," he told Trend over the phone from Ankara.
Coskun said the amendments will contribute to Turkey's democratization and also help advance the human rights situation in the country.
Roughly 29 amendments will be proposed in the referendum. The current Constitution was initiated by the AKP after a military coup in 1980.
The amendments include extending the president's powers, altering the activities of the country's ombudsman, and changing the procedures for closing political parties.
The amendments aim to further democratize Turkey, Coskun said. The country has sought full membership in the EU since 2005.
Meanwhile, the Turkish opposition accuses the government of planning an illegal referendum, as they claim that every paragraph of the Constitution must be submitted to the public for approval in the event of such an initiative.
However, Coskun sees no reason to hold a popular vote on every article of the Constitution.
"All 29 items of the Constitution that make up the package of amendments are related and affect the human rights situation," he said.
The ruling party sees the existing Constitution as an obstacle to the country's development. Until now, no serious steps have been taken by any Turkish government to change the Constitution.
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