Turkish parliament votes to give legislative power to cabinet

The Turkish parliament has voted through a bill that to allow the cabinet to pass certain laws and decrees with the force of law when the country is not in a state of emergency and without parliamentary approval, opposition Cumhuriyet newspaper said.

The new powers are intended to be used in order to prepare the country for the introduction of a presidential system of government that will come into effect after June 24 presidential and parliamentary elections.

They also give the cabinet the power to reorganise ministries and public institutions and to hire and fire top civil servants, as well as to annul laws and decrees that are no longer needed.

Opposition Republican People’s Party Spokesman Bülent Tezcan said his party would take the matter to the constitutional court in the hope of undoing the decision.

“I am certain that after this (presidential) system is put into action, there will be extremely important changes in both our political culture and our culture of democracy,” Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdağ told the parliament.