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The Collective
Tuesday, May 1, 2007
By Dr. Steven Taylor

Via the BBC: Turkey PM to ask for early poll

Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said he will ask parliament to approve an early general election.

He also said he would ask for a change in the constitution to allow the president to be chosen by the people.

Mr Erdogan was speaking after the country’s constitutional court annulled last Friday’s parliamentary vote to elect a new president.

[...]

Mr Erdogan, the leader of the AK party, which has Islamist roots and had put forward Mr Gul as its candidate, said he would apply for new polls on Wednesday and they could be held as soon as 24 June.

The polls are currently scheduled for 4 November.

Certainly it will be interesting to see if the AK can build on their current parliamentary majority.

The constitutional reform question is also quite interesting:

Mr Erdogan announced a package of reform proposals that included reducing the term of parliament from five years to four.

He would also push for a five-year presidency rather than seven, allowing for the possibility of serving two terms rather than just one.

Mr Erdogan said a new timetable for the annulled presidential vote would be set out on Wednesday.

Media reports said AK, which has a strong parliamentary majority, would propose the first round be held this Thursday.

[...]

Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said he will ask parliament to approve an early general election.

He also said he would ask for a change in the constitution to allow the president to be chosen by the people.

Mr Erdogan was speaking after the country’s constitutional court annulled last Friday’s parliamentary vote to elect a new president.

Secularist opposition parties had challenged the vote in court to prevent the foreign minister from winning.

The parties accuse Abdullah Gul of having a hidden Islamist agenda and say his election would threaten Turkey’s secular tradition.

Mr Erdogan, the leader of the AK party, which has Islamist roots and had put forward Mr Gul as its candidate, said he would apply for new polls on Wednesday and they could be held as soon as 24 June.

The polls are currently scheduled for 4 November.

Army role

Mr Erdogan announced a package of reform proposals that included reducing the term of parliament from five years to four.

He would also push for a five-year presidency rather than seven, allowing for the possibility of serving two terms rather than just one.

Mr Erdogan said a new timetable for the annulled presidential vote would be set out on Wednesday.

Media reports said AK, which has a strong parliamentary majority, would propose the first round be held this Thursday.

[...]

Mr Erdogan was speaking after the constitutional court annulled last Friday’s vote in which Mr Gul failed to win the required majority amid a boycott by the opposition.

The constitutional court backed the opposition’s argument that a quorum of two-thirds of the 550 lawmakers was not present.

A total of 361 lawmakers voted - 357 for Mr Gul - but 367 were needed to make a quorum.

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