Erdogan to rapidly approve referendum on presidential powers

Turkey's president says he will quickly endorse a parliament-approved reform package that paves the way for a referendum on a presidential system that would give him expanded powers.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan told reporters in Madagascar Wednesday that he would "make (his) assessment without any delay" upon his return to Turkey.

The country's electoral board will set a referendum date as soon as Erdogan has signed off on the reforms. The government says the vote will take place in the first half of April.

The main opposition party, however, has said it would apply to the highest court to seek to cancel the reforms, citing constitutional breaches during the parliamentary vote.

Critics see the reforms as a bid to cement the powers of Erdogan, who is accused of authoritarian behavior.