Turkish speaker of parliament candidates come forward

Following the oath-taking ceremony for Turkey’s 26th parliament, Turkey’s political parties haved begun to announce their candidates for speaker of parliament

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

Oldest member of the Parliament Deniz Baykal delivers a speech at the Grand National Assembly of Turkey (TBMM) as a temporary parliament speaker on November 17, 2015.

Turkey’s political parties began to announce their parliament speaker candidates - the second highest position in the Turkish state - on Wednesday after an oath-taking ceremony marking the opening of the 26th parliament on Nov. 17.

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

The first party to announce its candidate was the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) which has 40 seats in the parliament by gaining 11.9 percent of the votes in the Nov. 1 general election.

MHP leader Devlet Bahceli said that his party will present Kayseri deputy Yusuf Halacoglu as a candidate for speaker of parliament.

During previous elections for Turkey's speaker of parliament Halacoglu was criticised for calling the Republican People’s Party (CHP) "unbelievers."

When explaining why the MHP did not support the CHP’s candidate Deniz Baykal during the last election for speaker of parliament, Halacoglu said, "We did not vote for him because they [our opposition] would say that we voted for ‘unbelievers’."

Following this statement, Halacoglu was dismissed from his duty as group deputy chairman.

AK Party announces its candidate

Turkey’s governing Justice and Development Party (AK Party) was the second party to announce a candidate for speaker of parliament.

Following a meeting of the party’s Central Executive Board, AK Party spokesman Omer Celik announced their party's candidate as Istanbul deputy Ismail Kahraman who is a veteran AK Party member from Rize, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s home province.

Kahraman previously worked at the Labor and Culture ministries as undersecretary and minister respectively.

The deadline for applications is Nov. 21 at 12.00 am, local time (1000GMT).

How will Turkey's parliament elect a speaker?

The election of the speaker will be conducted through a secret ballot and the first two ballots will take place on the same day. If necessary, a third ballot will be held on following day in a final round of voting.

The first two rounds of voting requires the speaker to gain 367 votes from a total 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.

A candidate from the AK Party, which has the highest number of seats at 317, will be elected if the three other parties cannot compromise and agree on a candidate.

According to the official results of Turkey’s 26th parliamentary elections, the AK Party won 317 deputies. The CHP came second with 134 deputies. The People’s Democratic Party (HDP) became the third largest party in parliament with 59 deputies and the MHP came last with 40 deputies.

On Nov. 17, President Erdogan officially gave a mandate to Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu to form a new government.

TRTWorld, AA