Turkey, Politics

Turkish parliament head leaving office ahead of polls

Binali Yildirim to hand over reins to interim speaker ahead of elections for new speaker set for Sunday

Emin Avundukluoğlu   | 18.02.2019
Turkish parliament head leaving office ahead of polls

Ankara

By Muhammet Emin Avundukluoglu

ANKARA

The Turkish ruling party’s candidate for mayor of Istanbul is resigning his post as parliament speaker Monday, hours from now, he announced at a farewell dinner.

"After this meal, this first thing I will do is to submit my resignation petition to the Grand National Assembly," said Binali Yildirim, the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party's candidate for mayor of Istanbul in the March 31 elections.

"Tomorrow morning at 9.00 a.m., I will hand over the reins to Istanbul lawmaker Celal Adan as the oldest deputy speaker," as is customary for interim speakers, ahead of elections for a new speaker, he added.

Telling how he was the last Turkish premier under a parliamentary system, until July 2018, Yildirim added: "I was the first speaker under the presidential system. I am the first speaker who is a mayoral candidate."

Turkey ratified the move to a presidential system in an April 2017 referendum.

Parliament is expected to elect a new speaker on Sunday, Feb. 24.

In line with the Turkish Constitution, the election of a new speaker is being done via secret ballot.

The Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) has announced that it will support the candidate of the ruling AK Party.

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

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

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