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MINSK, April 17. /TASS/. Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko congratulated his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan on successful constitutional referendum expanding the presidential powers, the press service of the Belarusian leader said on Monday.
"By favoring the constitutional reform, the Turkish people backed the efforts of the current authorities aimed at achieving the economic growth, political stability and peace in the country," Lukashenko said.
"I’m convinced that the decision taken at the referendum will contribute to further strengthening the sovereignty and independence of Turkey," he said.
Lukashenko expects that joint efforts of Belarus and Turkey will further enhance bilateral partnership in the interests of their people.
Turkey’s Central Election Commission has announced the victory of supporters of constitutional amendments at the referendum with a landslide of 1.25 million votes, Sadi Guven, head of the Central Election Commission (CEC) told journalists on Monday.
Under the amendments, Turkey’s parliamentary system of government will be replaced with a presidential system. The proposed amendments include the abolition of the Office of the Prime Minister. They also allow the president to continue being a member of a party, expand his legislative and executive powers, and give him the right to form the cabinet of ministers.
The amendments will, however, introduce measures of parliamentary control over the head of state’s activities.
Another important change will be increasing the number of seats in the parliament from 550 to 600 and reducing the minimum age requirement for the candidates for MPs to 18.
If the amendments are approved, the next election of the president and the parliament will be held on November 3, 2019.