The Turkish Parliament’s General Assembly began debating a bill for changing the constitution in a bid to expand the president’s powers.

The draft is expected to pass in parliament, which is dominated by the ruling justice and development party (AKP), before being put to a referendum in the spring, a move that would enable President Tayyip Erdogan to acquire the executive presidency he has long sought.

According to the draft, the President would be eligible to serve a maximum of two five-year terms and would be able to issue presidential decrees on most executive matters without the need to consult parliament.

The President would have up to two deputies and would directly appoint the heads of the military and intelligence agencies, university rectors, senior bureaucrats, and some top judicial bodies, expanding the powers of the role.

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