Turkey Islamist presidential candidate refuses to drop out despite army threat, protest

[JURIST] As some 700,000 secularist Turks took to the streets of Istanbul [AP report] Sunday demanding the resignation of Turkey's government, Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul [official website; Wikipedia profile; JURIST news archive], a member of the ruling Islamist-rooted Justice and Development Party (AKP) [party website, in Turkish; Wikipedia backgrounder] and the country's sole presidential candidate, said he would not withdraw from the country's presidential election in the face of a statement released by the secularist Turkish army on Friday threatening to intervene if Gul is elected [Times report]. Gul fell 10 votes short of a requisite majority in the first round of balloting in parliament on Friday.

The opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) [Wikipedia backgrounder] boycotted Friday's vote, as they feel Turkey's president should be entirely secular, and immediately challenged [AFP report] the results in Turkey's Constitutional Court [official website], arguing that the constitutional provision required a quorum for Friday's vote to be official and lead to a second round. General elections will be held on November 4 to elect a president if the constitutional court annuls the results of Friday's vote and voting is not allowed to move to the second round in parliament. AFP has more.



 

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