Turkish Constitutional Court Declares Presidential Vote Invalid; Experts Believe Early Parliamentary Elections Will be Called
May 1, 2007 | Printer Friendly
According to Reuters the Turkish Constitutional Court has annulled the first round of the presidential elections that were held last weekend, upholding an appeal by secular opposition groups who feared the election of Abdullah Gul to the presidency would interfere with the separation of religion and state. A second round of elections, which was scheduled for Wednesday, has been cancelled. The decision of the court follows massive protests in the country over Gul’s elections, as well as overtones from the military that they would not allow the country to depart from its secular roots. The Consitutional Court is the highest judicial body in Turkey, and its decisions cannot be appealed. For more information on Foreign Minister Gul’s election, see: Hundreds of Thousands Protest Islamist Gains in Turkey’s Presidential Elections (CCD).
The report indicates that Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan has two options following the decision of the court. Erdogan can either propose a new candidate to replace Gul, or “call a snap general election to help defuse tensions.” Experts believe that Erdogan is more likely to call early elections, rather than replace the candidacy of Gul. CNN has called the court decision a “setback for the government,” which saw the election of Gul as the strengthening of its authority.
CCD will continue to cover this story as it develops.
CNN: Turkish presidential vote annulled
Reuters: Top court rules Turkish president poll invalid