Turkey Fails Again to Choose President
Turkey's parliament has failed to choose a successor to President Suleyman Demirel in a second round of voting Monday.
However, the government's candidate, Constitutional Court Chairman, Ahmet Necdet Sezer, comfortably beat his rivals and appeared well placed to win the post, said BBC Tuesday.
The third round of voting will be held on Friday.
Sezer won 314 votes in the secret ballot and was 53 votes short of the two-thirds majority he needed to avoid the third round AFP reported.
The closest runner-up, Parliament Speaker Yildirim Akbulut from the ruling coalition's centre-right Motherland Party, had 88 votes.
Under Turkish law, if no candidate musters the required support in the third round, the two with the most votes go into a fourth ballot seeking at least 276 votes, BBC said.
If elected, Sezer could become a catalyst for democratic reforms.
As head of Constitutional Court, he has called for a major overhaul of the constitution drawn up under the scrutiny of the leaders of the 1980 military coup, saying it restricted freedom of expression, said BBC.
BBC quoted Turkey's Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit as saying that Sezer's election is vital for political stability and for the success of the government's $4bn economic program backed by the IMF.
Sezer's election is likely please the European Union, which says Turkey's candidacy to the Union depends on sweeping democratic reforms - (Several Sources)
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