Turkish government seeks to reform constitution

March 22, 2010 12:02

ANKARA, Turkey — Turkey's government spokesman says the government aims to amend several articles of the constitution to make it more democratic and to strengthen the country's bid to join the European Union.

Deputy Prime Minister Cemil Cicek says amending the constitution — a legacy of the 1980 coup — is a must for the sake of the country's EU bid. He says the government will seek the support of opposition parties on Monday.

The government has said it will take the reform package to a referendum if Parliament fails to reach consensus to pass it. Cicek says the government wants to "elevate the standards of democracy."

The package includes measures such as making it harder to ban political parties and reforming the way judges and prosecutors are appointed.

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