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Turkish high court allows popular election of president

[JURIST] The Constitutional Court of Turkey [official website] ruled Thursday in favor of the constitutionality of proposed changes to the electoral system that would allow for the president to be elected by popular vote. The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) [party website, in Turkish; Wikipedia backgrounder] backed the reforms as a way to end a deadlock over the election of the next president; the Turkish president is currently chosen by parliament. The package also changes the presidency from a single, seven-year term, to a once-renewable, five year term. The electoral reform package will now go to referendum.

The AKP announced plans [JURIST report] in June to hold a national referendum to vote on the reform package. In May, Turkish President Ahmet Necdet Sezer vetoed [JURIST report] a constitutional amendment approved by parliament that would have allowed Turks to vote for their president directly, after which Parliament passed the amendment a second time [JURIST report]. AFP has more.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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