Turkey's Erdogan says stronger presidency not a matter of personal ambition

January 28, 2016 12:29

ANKARA - Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Thursday it was wrong to view his desire for a new constitution and a more powerful presidency as a matter of personal ambition, and that a head of state elected by the people must have more than a symbolic role.

In a speech to civil society groups in Ankara, he said the parliamentary system in Turkey was out of date and that the existing situation, in which both the prime minister and president are elected by the people, was unsustainable.

Erdogan said he expected political parties and civil society groups to take part in forging a new constitution and that the separation of powers would be one of the main points of discussion. The people, not parliament, should ultimately decide on the new text, he said. 

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