Parties begin to announce parliament speaker candidates

As new lawmakers take their oaths for Turkey’s 25th parliament, debates over the new parliament speaker begin

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Turkey’s political parties began to announce their parliament speaker candidates on Wednesday after an oath-taking ceremony marking the opening of the 25th parliament on June 23.

Electing a new parliament speaker will be the first mission of the newly elected deputies of the parliament. According to the rules, the candidates for the seat of parliament speaker need to submit their applications within five days.

During the election period of a new speaker, the former head of the opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and newly elected Antalya deputy Deniz Baykal will preside over the parliament as the senior member of the parliament.

Baykal may also retain his post after the election, depending on the decision of his peers because the CHP has officially announced on Wednesday that Deniz Baykal will be their parliament speaker candidate.

In a meeting with the CHP leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu before yesterday’s ceremony, Baykal was said to utter his wish to be the CHP's candidate as parliament speaker.

On the other hand, the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) was the first party to announce its parliament speaker, when HDP co-chair Selahattin Demirtas announced on Monday that HDP Mersin deputy Dengir Mir Mehmet Firat as  their candidate.

72-year-old deputy Firat was the former vice president and deputy of the Justice and Development Party (AK Party).

The Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) announced later on Wednesday that they will present deputy Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu as a parliament speaker candidate.

Ihsanoglu - the former head of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) - was the joint presidential candidate of the CHP and MHP in last year's election.

The AK Party have not announced their official candidates yet. However, certain names have been mentioned as possibilities.

Education Minister Nabi Avci and Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus are among the names who are expected to be announced as candidates for the AK Party.

The deadline for applications will be June 28 at 12.00 a.m., local time (1000GMT).

The election of the speaker will be conducted via a secret ballot and the first two ballots will take place on June 30. If necessary, the third ballot will be held on July 1 as a final round of election.

The first two rounds of voting requires the speaker to gain 367 votes out of 550 deputies. If no candidate achieves this, a third round can be passed by the candidate receiving a simple majority of 276 votes.

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

In this scenario, a candidate from the Justice and Development Party (AKP), which has the highest number of seats, will be elected if the three other parties cannot compromise and agree on a name.

Since none of the four political parties have a majority (367 votes) in the parliament, the election of the new parliament speaker is seen a practice run for a possible coalition government.

According to the official results of Turkey’s 25th parliamentary elections, the AK Party leads with 258 deputies. The CHP comes second with 132 deputies. Meanwhile, the MHP and the HDP each have 80 deputies in the parliament.

Once the parliament speaker is elected, the official negotiations to form the new government will begin.

TRTWorld and agencies