Thursday, May 3, 2007
By Steven L. Taylor

Via the BBC: Turkey PM condemns court ruling

Mr Erdogan, who heads the ruling AK party, had wanted elections – originally scheduled for November – to be held in June.

But the electoral council, which is responsible for organising elections, proposed 22 July. That date is expected to be approved by parliament later this week.

Certainly this is a way to resolve the impasse (at least potentially) by changing the partisan make-up of the legislature which may make it either harder or easier for the AK to elect a president.

Of course, it isn’t the only way to resolve the impasse, the Turkish Constitution allows for up to four ballots for presidential elections:

Article 102, Section (4) If a two-thirds majority of the total number of members cannot be obtained in the first two ballots, between which there shall be at least a three-day interval, a third ballot shall be held and the candidate who receives the absolute majority of votes of the total number of members shall be elected President of the Republic. If an absolute majority of votes of the total number of members is not obtained in the third ballot, a fourth ballot will be held between the two candidates who receive the greatest number of votes in the third ballot; if the President of the Republic cannot be elected by an absolute majority of the total number of members in this ballot, new general elections for the Turkish Grand National Assembly shall be held immediately.

Of course, if quorum can never be achieved, none of the ballots would matter, as happened in the first round:

The constitutional court on Tuesday ruled that there was no quorum – two-thirds of lawmakers – for last Friday’s vote for president in parliament.

Mr Erdogan said the ruling would make it virtually impossible to elect a new president.

Beyond working (or, indeed, not working) without a quorum, the AK could have tried to negotiate with the opposition for a different presidential candidate that would be acceptable to a larger majority of the legislature or they could call new elections, which is where they are at.

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One Response to “More on the Situation in Turkey”

  1. PoliBlog ™: A Rough Draft of my Thoughts » Update on Turkey’s Presidentual Election Says:

    [...] They can pursue the ballot for president four times, according to the constitution, but clearly the opposition is not going to allow a quorum to be present, making such moves moot. [...]

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