Turkish parliament to vote for presidential election Monday

The Turkish parliament meets Monday for the first round of a presidential election that is certain to see foreign minister Abdullah Gul, eventually become the country's 11th head of state.

Turkish parliament to vote for presidential election Monday
The 550 newly elected lawmakers will hold a secret ballot to pick a new president for a single seven-year term between candidates Gul and Sabahattin Cakmakoglu of the right-wing Nationalist Action Party (MHP).

Both men are from the central province of Kayseri, a conservative stronghold.

The head of state holds largely ceremonial functions, but has the authority to name top bureaucrats, including members of the Constitutional Court, and has a one-time right to send legislation he considers flawed back to parliament for reconsideration.

Gul is unlikely to be elected in the first and second rounds of voting, his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) lacking the required two-thirds majority of 367.

But the third round of voting scheduled for August 28, when a simple majority of 276 will suffice, should see him elected, thanks to a comfortable majority of 340 seats the AKP gleaned in snap legislative elections held July 22.

Gul is also likely to be the last president elected by parliament: a constitutional reform package that foresees presidential election by universal suffrage for a once-renewable five-year term, goes to a referendum October 21.

The package, one of the last bits of legislation pushed through the previous AKP-dominated parliament, is likely to enjoy wide popular support, according to opinion surveys.

Last Mod: 20 Ağustos 2007, 01:24
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