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Turks vote in historic referendum on expanding Erdogan's power


04-16-2017 14:29 BJT

(Source: CGTN)

Turkish citizens have just started voting in a historic referendum that will decide on whether President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is granted new and sweeping powers.

The polls opened at 7AM local time, or 400 GMT in the east of the country, and will close at 1400 GMT. Over 55 million Turks are eligible to vote, with overseas voters already having cast their ballots.

The results are expected to be close, but opinion polls have given a narrow lead for the "Yes" vote. If that happens, the nation could see an all-powerful presidency and possibly, Erdogan in office until at least 2029.

The "Yes" camp argues that the current system in which both the president and parliament are directly elected, can lead to political deadlocks. But opponents say it is a step towards greater authoritarianism.

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