Erdogan pushes to strengthen presidency after election win

Erdogan pushes to strengthen presidency after election win

PanARMENIAN.Net - Turkish president-elect Tayyip Erdogan signalled no let-up in his drive to strengthen the powers of the presidency on Thursday, Aug 14, and vowed his battle against an Islamic cleric he accuses of plotting against the state would intensify once he took office, Reuters reported.

In his first major speech since declaring victory in a presidential election on Sunday, Erdogan offered little sign that his fiery rhetoric and blunt approach to politics would soften after his inauguration on Aug 28.

Erdogan, who remains prime minister and leader of the AK Party until his inauguration, urged provincial AK leaders to remain focused on securing a stronger parliamentary majority next year to enable the party to re-write the constitution.

"I said before that the presidential elections would be the starting gun for the 2015 (general) elections," he told the party meeting in a speech broadcast on Turkish television.

"Our target should be to acquire at least a majority to establish the new constitution. I don't believe that you will compromise on this," he said.

The AK Party currently holds 313 of parliament's 550 seats, a strong majority but below the crucial two thirds threshold.

"Those who thought our party would decline or fall apart have always been wrong," he said. "We have gone through challenging times in these 13 years. We have resisted, driven back, turned upside down all attacks on us. We have always been mandated by the people."

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