Turkey’s ruling AKP submits constitutional reform package to parliament

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan could get expanded powers under a package of constitutional reform proposals Turkey’s ruling AK Party on Saturday submitted to parliament. (AFP / ADEM ALTAN)
Updated 10 December 2016

Turkey’s ruling AKP submits constitutional reform package to parliament

ANKARA: Turkey’s ruling AK Party on Saturday submitted to parliament a package of constitutional reform proposals that would expand the president’s powers, party officials said, in a move that could potentially see President Tayyip Erdogan govern until 2029.
The package would also bring structural changes to Turkey’s security and judiciary, implementing criminal liability for the president, who previously was immune from all crimes except treason.
The AKP, unable to legalize the changes on its own, has been meeting with the nationalist MHP in order to introduce an executive presidential system long sought by Erdogan and his supporters.
Any constitutional change needs the support of at least 330 deputies in the 550-seat assembly to go to a referendum. The AKP has 316 lawmakers eligible for voting, and the MHP 39.
Deputy Prime Minister Nurettin Canikli said on Friday that Turkey planned to hold a referendum by next May at the latest on the constitutional changes and then presidential and parliamentary elections together in 2019.
Erdogan has turned a largely ceremonial presidency into a powerful platform at a time of domestic upheaval by drawing on his unrivaled popularity. The AKP now seeks a strong executive presidency that while formalizing his personal powers could avert any relapse into the fractious coalition governments of the 1990s. (Reporting by Tuvan Gumrukcu and Ercan Gurses)


Kuwait’s emir reappoints premier, removes defense and interior ministers

Updated 32 min 52 sec ago

Kuwait’s emir reappoints premier, removes defense and interior ministers

  • Emir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah asked Sheikh Jaber to form a new cabinet, state news agency KUNA said

DUBAI: Kuwait’s ruling emir on Monday reappointed Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah as prime minister but removed the defense and interior ministers, both senior members of the ruling family, from their posts after the government’s resignation last week.

Emir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah asked Sheikh Jaber to form a new cabinet, state news agency KUNA said. Sheikh Jaber last week submitted the government’s resignation when lawmakers sought a no-confidence vote against the interior minister.

KUNA said in a separate statement that the emir ordered the removal of his son, Defense Minister Sheikh Nasser Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, and Interior Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khalid Al-Sabah from their posts in the current caretaker cabinet.