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Turkish Lawmakers Approve More Constitutional Changes

Lawmakers in Turkey have approved three key provisions among changes to the constitution that have been proposed by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).

The three articles approved late on January 12 establish parliament's supervisory role, allow the president to be a member of a political party, and enhance the president's executive powers.

The main CHP opposition party and the pro-Kurdish HDP argue that the changes will lead to authoritarianism.

Under the proposed changes, the president will have the ability to issue executive orders and will serve a maximum of two five-year terms. In all, the changes comprise 18 new articles, and four other articles were adopted on January 10 and 11.

In order to pass, the measures must get at least 330 votes in the 550-seat assembly. The AKP has 316 deputies, while its partner, the nationalist MHP, has 39.

On January 12, a leading AKP lawmaker said that if parliament failed to adopt the measures, the party would call for snap legislative elections.

Based on reporting by AP and Andalu