ABDULLAH GUL RENOMINATED AS PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE
Turkey`s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has re-nominated Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Abdullah Gul as a presidential candidate.
Gul, a former Islamist, has been nominated for the post during AKP`s Central Executive Board meeting on Monday evening. Gul, whose candidacy sparked an outcry by Turkish secularists in May, is expected to meet opposition leaders on Tuesday.
Secular politicians and the army are opposed to Gul`s candidacy because he has an Islamist past.
Gul withdrew from the presidential elections in May after the parliament`s General Assembly failed to reach a quorum of 367 voters needed to elect a new president due to boycott by the opposition, after which Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan called for early parliamentary elections.
The ruling party won a sweeping victory in the July 22 election and now holds a majority of seats in parliament with 341 MPs out of a total of 550.
The first round of presidential election will be held on August 20. If the parliament`s general assembly fails to elect a new president in the first round, there will be a second round on August 24, and may be a third round on August 28 and a fourth and last round on September 1.
On 13 August, the Cabinet held its meeting. As stated, Prime Minister of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan on 16 August will announce its government members and submit the Cabinet to President Ahmed Necdet Sezer.