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Voting begins to elect Turkey parliament’s new speaker

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (C) addresses the Turkish parliament in Ankara, Turkey [Mehmet Ali Özcan/Anadolu Agency]
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (C) addresses the Turkish parliament in Ankara, Turkey [Mehmet Ali Özcan/Anadolu Agency]

Turkish lawmakers today began casting their votes to elect the first speaker of the Turkish Grand National Assembly under the new government system.

In accordance with the Turkish Constitution, the election of the speaker is being conducted through a secret ballot.

Turkey’s last Prime Minister Binali Yildirim, from the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party, is thought to be the strongest candidate for the post.

Yildirim served as prime minister until earlier this week when the post was abolished under constitutional changes.

The Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) has announced that it will support the AK Party’s candidate.

Read: Erdogan heralds Turkey’s ‘fresh start’

The voting process began at 14:28 local time (11:28 GMT) at the Turkish Parliament.

In the first two rounds of voting, at least 401 out of 600 deputies’ votes are needed to win.

In a third round of voting, a minimum of 301 votes are needed. If a fourth round is needed, the candidate with the largest number of votes is elected.

The AK Party holds 290 seats in parliament, while the Republican People’s Party (CHP) has 144 seats.

Read: Why the Arabs like Erdogan

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