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    As Oct. 21 referendum date approaches, debates over presidency grow

    Hürriyet Haber
    04 Ekim 2007 - 12:22Son Güncelleme : 04 Ekim 2007 - 13:22

    The ruling AKP has started a campaign in support of the planned October 21 referendum which would bring about alteration to the Turkish Constitution that would allow the president of the country to be directly elected by the Turkish people.

    In the meantime, debates have started over whether or not the position of current President Abdullah Gul would be affected by the acceptance of the referendum. While AKP top officials are denying that the acceptance of the October 21 referendum would have any bearing on President Gul's position, the final decision on the matter will reportedly come from the High Board on Elections (YSK). Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has already made his position on the matter clear, asserting "The 11th president has already been selected. The people of the country will elect the 12th president."
     
    In the meantime, opposition CHP leader Deniz Baykal has asserted that in the event the referendum passes, that new elections to pick an 11th president must be held within 45 days of the referendum vote. Said Baykal yesterday "The Prime Minister does not have the authority to ignore this legality. This would mean a violation of the Constitution."
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