Turkey: Four candidates to run for parliament speaker

Turkey Four candidates to run for parliament speaker
The five-day application process for the Turkish parliament’s speaker post, the elections for which will be held on June 30, has come to an end

The five-day application process for the Turkish parliament’s speaker post came to an end at 12 a.m. Saturday night.

Four candidates will run for the post, including Ismet Yilmaz, 53, from the Justice and Development (AK) Party, Deniz Baykal, 76, from the Republican People’s Party (CHP), Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, 71, from the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and Dengir Mir Mehmet Fırat, 71, from the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP).

On Friday, the AK Party announced that Yilmaz, who was a parliamentarian from the central province of Sivas, would be its candidate for the post.

The AK party came in first in Turkey’s general election held on June 7, winning 258 seats in the 550-strong parliament, but it cannot govern alone or elect the parliament speaker without the support of at least one other party.

The CHP, which came in second in the elections, winning 132 seats in parliament, announced Wednesday that its former leader Baykal – who, as the oldest Member of Parliament, currently serves as interim speaker until the election next week – was also a candidate.

Ihsanoglu, MHP Member of Parliament and former 2014 presidential candidate, also submitted his application to run on June 24 while Firat, HDP’s Mersin deputy, announced his candidacy on June 22. 

The MHP and pro-Kurdish HDP each won 80 seats in the Turkish parliament.

Candidates were required to submit their applications by June 28.

According to the Turkish constitution, the election of the speaker shall be conducted via secret ballot.

The election on June 30 requires a two-thirds majority among parliamentarians. Should this majority not be reached after two attempts, a third requiring an absolute majority will be held on July 1.

If this cannot be obtained, a fourth vote shall be held on the same day in a runoff between the two candidates who received the highest number of votes in the third.