Elections in Danger, Parliament Called Back into Session
ANKARA, Turkey (AP) _ The speaker of Parliament said Monday he will call the legislature back for an extraordinary session because of a court ruling that he said endangered the Nov. 1 general elections.
The constitutional court, acting upon a petition by the main opposition Social Democratic Populist Party, delivered a ruling Friday against the process of selecting candidates.
Most opposition parties want the elections postponed, saying there is not sufficient time to pick their candidates by Nov. 1.
Parliament Speaker Necmettin Karaduman told a news conference he would call Parliament back from recess when the court’s verdict goes into force in a few days.
Newspapers reported the governing Motherland Party favors convening Parliament Friday.
A group of lawmakers from Parliament’s three opposition parties also petitioned Karaduman to recall the legislature to pass a new election bill and election date.
A month ago, Parliament passed a bill moving the election date a year ahead of schedule. The bill backed by the Motherland Party also stipulated that for the November election only, local primaries would not be held to select candidates and instead they would be picked by party executive committees.
Mehmet Kececiler, deputy chairman of the Motherland Party, told the Anatolia news agency the party was ready to discuss every aspect of the issue in Parliament.
Last week before the court ruling, Premier Turgut Ozal ruled out any compromise, saying there was no need for another parliamentary session and elections would be held as scheduled.
But Ozal has made no comment since the court’s action.
Ozal called the early elections following a referendum that lifted political bans on many politicians including former premiers Suleyman Demirel and Bulent Ecevit. The ban was decreed by the military leaders who overthrew the government in 1980.
Civilian rule was restored following elections in November 1983, when the Motherland Party won 211 of the 399 seats in the National Assembly.