Turkey parliament moves country toward presidential system

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Turkey's parliament has moved a step closer to approving a constitutional reform package that would pave the way for a presidential system.

In a session that ended late Sunday in Ankara, a majority of lawmakers voted in favor of the final article in the controversial package presented by the ruling party.

Another round of voting on the 18-article package is required to confirm the result. If the reform bill secures at least 330 votes in the 550-seat assembly, it will then be put to a national referendum.

Ruling party officials argue a strong presidency is needed to strengthen Turkey as it confronts multiple terrorism threats.

Critics see the changes as a bid to cement outsized powers already exercised by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.