Turkey's Erdogan urges quick referendum on presidential system

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he wants to speed up a referendum to decide on constitutional changes needed to introduce a presidential system in the country.

Only a presidential system could offer a "warranty for stability," Erdogan said Friday, one day after Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu announced his resignation.

Erdogan called on his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) to put the draft constitutional amendment to the people "as soon as possible."

The introduction of a presidential system has been Erdogan's prime goal, a move critics say will erode the country's democracy.

Davutoglu announced Thursday he would step down as prime minister and head of the AKP, following growing public disagreement with Erdogan, whose rule is described as becoming increasingly authoritarian.

He had decided not to seek a new mandate at an extraordinary convention on May 22 to choose the new leader of the AKP, which has held power in Turkey since 2002.

Erdogan's followers have been accusing Davutoglu of delaying the introduction of a presidential system.

The AKP is currently 13 seats short of the 60-per-cent parliamentary majority required to hold a referendum on a constitutional amendment.

Last update: Fri, 06/05/2016 - 17:59

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