Turkish parliament convenes to elect new speaker

Turkish parliament convenes to elect new speaker

Turkish parliament convenes to elect new speaker

Turkey’s Grand National Assembly has convened on Feb. 24 to elect its new speaker.

Former parliament speaker Binali Yıldırım announced his resignation late Feb. 18 to submit his candidacy for Istanbul mayor in the upcoming March 31 local elections. He handed over the office to interim Parliament Speaker Celal Adan of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) on Feb. 19.

The ruling Justice and Development Party's (AKP) candidate, Mustafa Şentop, got 322 votes in the first round whereas his main rival Engin Altay of the Republican People's Party (CHP) got only 120 votes. They were followed by The Peoples’ Democratic Party’s (HDP) candidate Serpil Kemalbay with 45 votes and İYİ (Good) Party candidate İmam Hüseyin Filiz with 35 votes.

AKP has 291 seats in parliament. The Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), represented in parliament with 49 MPs, announced it will endorse the AKP’s candidate as part of its “People’s Alliance” with the ruling party.

The main opposition CHP holds 142 seats in parliament while HDP has 65 deputies and İYİ Party has 39 deputies.

In the first two rounds of the election, at least 401 out of 600 deputies’ votes are needed to win the speaker’s post.

In a third round, if necessary, only 301 votes are needed, and in a possible fourth round, a simple majority is sufficient to win.

Turkish parliament, Mehmet Şentop,