Baku, Azerbaijan, Apr. 16
By Orkhan Quluzade – Trend:
Turkey has started voting in a referendum to amend the Constitution, which, among other changes, envisages the introduction of the presidential form of government.
In the eastern provinces of Turkey, the voting began at 07:00 (UTC/GMT+3), while in the remaining provinces it starts at 08:00, and will end at 16:00 and 17:00, respectively.
Over 55 million Turkish voters are to cast their ballots to say “Yes” or “No” to the proposed amendments to the country’s Constitution.
There are 2,929,389 Turkish voters abroad who can use their right to vote in the Constitutional referendum. Some part of them has already cast votes at 119 diplomatic missions of Turkey in 57 countries. Meanwhile, the Turkish nationals living abroad still can cast their ballots at 32 border checkpoints of the country.
The voting at the diplomatic missions took place from March 27 to April 9, while at the checkpoints it started on March 27 and will end April 16.
Earlier, amendments to Turkey’s Constitution got more than 330 votes in the Parliament, which allows putting the Constitutional changes to a public voting.
According to the amendments, the number of seats in the Turkish Parliament will increase from 550 to 600.
The amendments also suggest allowing Turkish citizens to run for the MP seats from the age of 18 (currently, the lowest age limit is 25), and holding parliamentary elections every 5 years (currently, the parliamentary elections are held every 4 years).
Under the amendments, a Turkish citizen, no younger than 40, will be allowed to run for president.
Furthermore, the amendments stipulate that the Turkish president will head the government and will be granted the power to appoint ministers or replace them.
Also, presidential hopefuls won’t be required to be non-party nominees any more.
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