Turkey may hold early election

Turkey's ruling party will call an early general election if a court rules a Kurdish Party has won votes illegally in a recent poll.

    Abd Allah Gul's Justice and Development Party wants to change Turkey's constitution

    Foreign Minister Abd Allah Gul

    said on Tuesday polls would be held if an appeal

    by the Democratic People's Party (DEHAP) against convictions for

    forging documents is rejected.

    If the court upholds an earlier decison to rule the votes invalid,

     a centre-right grouping would enter parliament and alter the political balance of power.

    "If a decision is made that is not in our favour then we will go to early elections. We will return with an even larger majority," Gul told Yeni Safak newspaper.

    Economic crisis

    The True Path Party (DYP) argues that if DEHAP had not won the votes it could have entered parliement as a rival to the government. 

    If the court rules against DEHAP, the election board could

    award scores of seats to DYP and strip the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP)

     of the parliamentary majority needed

    to change the constitution.

    AKP, a newly formed group distrusted by Turkey's secular

    establishment, swept to power in November

    2002 elections, pledging jobs and prosperity after a financial

    crisis battered Turkey's economy.

    An early election could threaten economic recovery

     and implementation of political reforms designed to

    secure Turkey's accession talks with the European Union

    .

    SOURCE: Reuters


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