Turkish parties hold first meeting to draft new constitution

4 February 2016
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A Turkish parliamentary commission is meeting in a fresh push to draft a new constitution that would replace the current charter which is a legacy of the 1980 military coup.

The Constitutional Consensus Commission, comprised of legislators from all four parties in parliament, held its first meeting on Thursday.

While all parties agree on the need to overhaul the constitution, the opposition strongly opposes the ruling party’s plans to turn Turkey’s political system into a presidential one, giving the president executive powers. Currently, the president’s role is largely ceremonial.

The opposition fears that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has grown increasingly authoritarian, is aiming to concentrate too much power in his hands.

A previous commission disbanded in 2013 after failing to agree on several issues.

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