President Edgar Lungu was yesterday among 22 Heads of State and foreign dignitaries invited to attend Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s inauguration ceremony in the capital, Ankara.
Mr. Erdogan took oath of office to become the first Turkish President under the new presidential system of Government.
President Erdogan invited President Lungu along with Gabonese President Ali Bongo, Jose Mario Vaz of Guinea Bissau and Equatorial Guinea President, Teodoro Obiang Nguema to his inauguration.
Others are Mauritiania’s Muhammed Veled Abdul Aziz, President Idriss Deby of Chad, Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajom, Djibouti’s Ismail Omar Guelleh and Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir.
Presidents of Bulgaria, Georgia, Macedonia, Moldova, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Kosovo, Pakistan, Kyrgyzstan,Venezuela, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus and Emir of Qatar were also in attendance.
In his inaugural speech, President Erdogan saluted the Presidents and other international digentories who joined Turkey in celebrating his inauguration ceremony.
“There are no borders to our hearts, the picture that I see in front of me is testimony of this, I would like to thank all leaders that have traveled from far places to celebrate with us,” President Erdogan said.
He promised to eradicate poverty by ensuring that every citizcen has food on their tables.
President Erdogan also pledged to make education affordable for the citzenry.
“From now on we will have a directly elected President whom the nation has the right to hold accountable,” President Erdogan said.
Earlier, Mr. Erdogan was sworn-in at the Grand National Assembly before Acting Parliament Speaker, Durmus Yilmaz.
After the swearing-in ceremony, Mr. Erdogan visited the mausoleum of the founder of the Turkish Republic, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk before proceeding to the Presidential Complex to make his inaugural speech.
On April 16, 2017, the Turkish people voted in a referendum to change the constitution from a parliamentary to a presidential system.
President Erdogan subsequently called a snap presidential and parliamentary election on June 24, 2018 in which he emerged victorious with a 52.6 percent first round majority vote to become Turkey’s first executive President under the new constitution.
Under the new executive presidential system, the Cabinet will be reduced from 26 to 16 while the Prime Minister’s office will be abolished.
This was contained in statement made available to ZANIS by First Secretary for Press at the Zambian Embassy in Ankara, Turkey, Jerry Munthali.