Leader of Turkey's Nationalists to Back New Constitution Bill
Turkish Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli has said he will back a bill to change the country's constitution both in the Parliament vote and in a referendum if one has to take place.
Anadolu Agency, which has quoted Bahçeli, has not given details.
However, if he and the MHP do back the changes in Parliament, they will pave a way for a referendum on the amendments that will lead Turkey to a presidential system.
The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the MHP have 316 and 40 lawmakers respectively, while just 330 votes are needed to trigger a nationwide poll.
Under the proposal, the constitution is to be changed in a way boosting the powers of Turkey's President while abolishing the office of the Prime Minister. It will also increase the number of MPs from 550 to 600 in line with the growing population.
The biggest opposition party, the Republican People's Party (CHP), disputes the bill, arguing it would concentrate power in the hands of a single person to the detriment checks and balances.
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