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Turkey's parliament re-approves election reform

ANKARA, May 31 (RIA Novosti) - Turkey's lawmakers voted again Thursday in favor of amendments to the country's Constitution on electing the president by popular rather than parliamentary vote.

Outgoing President Ahmet Necdet Sezer, who vetoed the amendments last week, will either approve the reform or put it to a national referendum.

If Turkey votes for a direct presidential election, it will be held at least 40 days after early parliamentary elections, scheduled for July 22.

The draft reforms were initiated by the ruling party led by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The president has warned that the changes would threaten the country's democracy and challenge parliament, which is also directly elected.

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