Turkey to call general election

Prime minister says fresh general elections can solve political impasse.

    The AK party is still backing Abdullah Gul, Turkey's foreign minister, as its presidential candidate [AFP]
    Senior members of the AK party had called for national elections to be brought forward from November to June 24 in order to resolve a stand-off with the country's military.
     
    Your Views

    "We have seen this theatre many times... [there is] no way other than democracy"

    Srimedya, Bursa, Turkey

    Send us your views

    "Bringing forward the general election will reduce uncertainty," Bulent Arinc, a senior AK Party member and parliamentary speaker, told a news conference on Wednesday.
     
    "[The decision] will meet our people's expectation for trust and stability."
     
    The AKP appeared to be hoping that its success in promoting economic growth and pushing down inflation would see it returned to power with a renewed and strengthened mandate.
     
    Erdogan also said that he was considering changing the constitution to enable the president to be elected directly by a popular vote.
     
    Presidential elections
     
    Also on Wednesday, Turkey's parliament ratified a timetable for electing a president that was put forward by the country's ruling Justice and Development party (AK party).
     
    MPs from the 550-seat parliament will vote on Sunday in the first of four rounds of voting that will culminate in the election of a new president, parliament ruled on Wednesday.
     
    The decision to hold a re-run of the first round of voting came a day after the Constitutional Court ruled that a similar vote held last week was invalid because not enough members of parliament had been present.
     
    Senior members of the army threatened on Friday to intervene in politics if the AK party moved to dismantle or weaken the country's secular constitution.
     
    Constitutional crisis
     
    Parliament held the first of four rounds of vote to elect a new president last Friday.
     
    Abdullah Gul, the AK party candidate, won the largest share of the vote but failed to achieve the required quorum after opposition parties boycotted the vote and failed to put forward their own candidate.
     
    The opposition parties - mainly composed of secularist, pro-army parties - then argued that the vote was invalid and appealed to the country's constitutional court to consider ordering a re-run.
     
    On Tuesday, the court ruled in the favour of the opposition parties and said that the vote must be repeated.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: Take a tour through divided Jerusalem

    Interactive: Take a tour through divided Jerusalem

    Take a tour through East and West Jerusalem to see the difference in quality of life for Israelis and Palestinians.

    Stories from the sex trade

    Stories from the sex trade

    Dutch sex workers, pimps and johns share their stories.

    Inside the world of India's booming fertility industry

    Inside the world of India's booming fertility industry

    As the stigma associated with being childless persists, some elderly women in India risk it all to become mothers.