Efforts to create a crisis before the second round elections held on the 119th day of the presidential election process proved futile, with the MHP declining calls by the main opposition CHP to not attend the presidential vote in Parliament.
MHP Deputy Chairman Mehmet Şandır stated they are against crises and that they will attend the presidential vote to support their own presidential nominee and thus enable Parliament to function, with no crisis over a newly required quorum of 367 deputies emerging.This crisis process is expected to end when Abdullah Gül assumes the presidential post after the third round of elections to be held on the 123rd day of the process.
The ruling Justice and Development Party's (AK Party) presidential nominee, Gül, is unlikely to be elected president today. In the first round, Gül had secured the support of 341 deputies, short of the quorum of 367 needed for election in the first and second rounds of the presidential voting. The second round will not be conclusive as similar voting patters are expected from the political parties. The MHP announced that they would continue to support their own candidate, Kayseri deputy Sabahattin Çakmakoğlu, both in the second and third rounds. Due to the fact that the support of at least 276 deputies is needed for election in the third round, Gül's election in this round is seen certain as the AK Party has 341 seats in Parliament and will be able to ensure that its candidate is elected at the president in the third round.
DSP may lend support to Çakmakoğlu in third round
As the MHP supports its own candidate, all eyes will be on the Democratic Society Party (DTP) and the Democratic Left Party (DSP). The DSP has decided to continue their support for their own presidential nominee, Hüseyin Tayfun İçli, in the second round. Aware of the fact that the AK Party has the majority needed to ensure election of its presidential nominee in the third round, the DSP is planning to cast empty votes in this round. As the two top candidates will race in the third round, the DSP may opt to lend support to the Nationalist Movement Party's (MHP) candidate, Çakmakoğlu. "I will continue to run for president in the second round. I will not withdraw. However, with respect to the third round, we will make a new assessment. But this does not mean that we will support Gül," İçli told Today's Zaman.
DTP to cast empty votes
The recent visit by Education Minister Hüseyin Çelik to the DTP was informally acknowledged as the AK Party's request for support for Gül, and claims that the DTP would vote differently in the second round circulated. However, both parties described the visit as "one of courtesy" and it became clear that the DTP's strategy would be the same one pursued in the first round.
The DTP deputies had cast empty votes in the first round as Gül refused to agree their demands, and no change is expected in their strategy. The DTP will undoubtedly follow the same strategy in the third round. After receiving the support of only the Grand Unity Party (BBP) leader Muhsin Yazıcıoğlu, Gül seems to have stopped expecting support from smaller parliamentary parties and independent candidates. Tunceli independent deputy Kamer Genç and Manisa independent deputy Erdoğan Yetenç, who had resigned from the Rerublican People's Party's (CHP), will most likely not attend the presidential vote. Rize independent candidate and former Prime Minister Mesut Yılmaz, and Freedom and Solidarity Party (ÖDP) leader Ufuk Uras will attend the vote, but will cast empty votes. Hakkari independent deputy Hamit Geylani and Şanlıurfa Deputy Seyit Eyüpoğlu, too, will cast empty votes.
President's first act will be approval of the government list
After being elected president in the third round on Aug. 28 at the latest, Gül will assume the presidential post from acting President Ahmet Necdet Sezer on the same day. The next day Gül is expected to approve the government list to be submitted by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
Erdoğan had submitted his new Cabinet to Sezer on Aug. 16, but Sezer requested that he submit it to the new president.
The first official ceremony Gül will attend in his capacity as president of Turkish Republic will be the festivities for Victory Day on Aug. 30. Gül's relations with Parliament will resume one month later. Gül will attend the official opening ceremony of the Turkish Parliament on Oct. 1 to give a speech and also attend the reception to be hosted by Parliament Speaker Köksal Toptan the same evening. Sezer had not attended the receptions hosted by former Parliament Speaker Bülent Arınç since Nov. 3, 2003, when the AK Party assumed power. Sezer would only deliver a speech in the opening ceremonies of Parliament.
Sezer also refuse to see Toptan and members of the parliamentary administration board on Aug. 20, suggesting they instead visit the new president.
No official ceremony in handover of presidential post
In his party's Central Executive Board (MYK) meeting, Erdoğan said that when Gül was elected, he would swear in on the same day and the handover of presidential post would be done without any official ceremony, as requested by Sezer. In the meeting, the AK Party decided to submit the government list to the new president as soon as possible.
The AK Party management is seeking to ensure that the government program is read in Parliament on Sept.1 and that vote of confidence is done on Sept. 6.
If everything goes fine, Parliament will cease activity until Oct. 1. The MYK has also set up a party commission that will work on the draft civilian Constitution. This commission will be chaired by Dengir Mir Mehmet Fırat and consist of Cemil Çiçek, Ertuğrul Günay, Burhan Kuzu, Zafer Üskül and other jurist deputies.
The draft text to be prepared by the commission will be disseminated to nongovernmental organizations and political parties. Erdoğan seeks to accelerate the work on constitutional amendments and reportedly said, "The new Constitution should be voted in a referendum."
Gül's victory to be celebrated with lights, salute
The Foreign Affairs Protocol General Directorate has announced the program for the 11th president's inauguration. After Gül casts his vote on Aug. 28, the final voting round in Parliament, he will head home to await the results. After the results are announced, he will be welcomed at the Parliament with a military ceremony.
Last Mod: 24 Ağustos 2007, 14:24
Gül is expected to wear a dark-colored suit like his predecessor Ahmet Necdet Sezer. After his inauguration, the new president will drive to Anıtkabir in his official vehicle before heading to the Çankaya Palace to take over the post from Sezer. Although Sezer has requested no ceremony at the palace, the government is set to celebrate Gül's presidential victory with a nationwide "laser light effect" and by firing 101 gunshots throughout Ankara and military headquarters.
Parliament Speaker Köksal Toptan will convene the General Assembly at 3 p.m. No matter when the third round of voting ends, the results won't be announced until after 6 p.m.
The official car will be waiting outside of Gül's home to take him to the Parliament. He will enter Parliament at 7:45 p.m., where he will be greeted by the oldest deputy, Eyüp Cenap Gülpınar, and a military ceremony. As Gül enters Parliament, he will exchange greetings with Parliament Speaker Toptan.
Invitations to attend the inauguration ceremony have been sent out. Guests will have to enter the ceremony 15 minutes in advance. Uninvited guests will not be allowed inside Parliament, and the General Assembly will not address other matters during the ceremony. Gül will leave Parliament with a military ceremony, visiting Anıtkabir before he heads to the presidential palace to assume his new post.
Sezer, who assumed the presidency from ninth President Süleyman Demirel in an extravagant ceremony, has not requested a ceremony this time. Demirel, who became president after eighth President Turgut Özal's death, had not taken on his presidential duties with a ceremony. According an announcement by the Foreign Affairs Ministry, a wreath-laying ceremony will be held at Anıtkabir, complete with special light effects organized throughout the country that evening and 101 gunshots being fired in Ankara and at military bases.