Turkish FM withdraws candidacy for presidential elections
Turkey's foreign minister withdrew his candidacy for presidential elections after Parliament declined to reach a quorum Sunday needed to elect a new president, the state-run Anatolia news agency reported.
According to the AP, parliament was short of the 367 legislators needed to proceed with the vote after holding two separate roll-calls, Speaker Bulent Arinc stated. The vote was being repeated after Turkey's Constitutional Court, backing the secular opposition, put off a first-round of voting last week saying not enough legislators were present.
Turkey's Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul, a close ally of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, was the sole candidate in the voting. Lawmakers from the secular party stayed away from the vote again Sunday. Secularists are against Gul's candidacy, fearing that Erdogan's party will expand its control and impose religion on society.
Gul said before the vote that he would withdraw his candidacy if he failed to get elected Sunday.