Erdogan rejects regime shift after referendum

Sat 15 April 2017 04:48 GMT | 08:48 Local Time

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President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday rejected claims of a regime change after Sunday's referendum on constitutional amendments.

"In my 40 years of political life, I have had no such claims to change the regime," Erdogan said in an interview aired live on state-broadcaster TRT, according to Anadolu Agency.

He said the debates on regime change in the country ended in 1923, when Mustafa Kemal Ataturk established modern Turkey as a republic.

"But this [government] system is not responding to [current] needs," Erdogan said.

Turkey's main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) has claimed during its 'No' campaign that the constitutional change would lead to a regime change.

Erdogan said that almost all polls predicted a 'Yes' victory.

"Some predict the rate to be below 55 percent while others say it is likely to be between 55-60 percent," he said.

Sunday’s referendum in Turkey addresses a host of constitutional reforms that would hand wide-ranging executive powers to the president.

The post of prime minister would be abolished and the president would also be allowed to retain ties to a political party.

Other changes include the minimum age of parliamentary candidates reduced to 18 and the number of deputies increased to 600.

Also, simultaneous parliamentary and presidential elections for a five-year term would be held in November 2019 under the new Constitution.

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