Main opposition CHP nominates female candidate for speaker of Parliament

The main opposition Republican Peopleand’s Party (CHP) has nominated female deputy Gandulsandum Bilgehan inandOnandu for Parliament speaker, CHP parliamentary group deputy chairman Engin Altay said on Friday.
The application for inandOnanduand’s candidacy was submitted to the Office of the Secretary-General of Parliament by Altay and andOzgandur andOzel, the partyand’s parliamentary group deputy chairpersons, on the same day. In remarks to reporters following the application, Altay said that the partyand’s choice of inandOnandu reveals the importance the CHP attaches to women and the partyand’s willingness to include women in politics.
The CHPand’s candidate is the granddaughter of former President ismet inandOnandu, who served for nearly 12 years as president following the death of Mustafa Kemal Atatandurk, the founder of the Turkish Republic. ismet was Atatandurkand’s comrade-in-arms in fighting the nationand’s independence war and also served for many years as prime minister following the establishment of the Turkish Republic in 1923.
ismet headed the CHP until 1972 following Atatandurkand’s death in 1938.
The first round of voting for the speaker will be held on Sunday. A qualified majority of 367 votes are needed for a candidate to be elected speaker in the first two rounds. Should no candidate manage to get the number of votes required, the candidates will be required to get an absolute majority — 276 votes in the 550-seat Parliament — in the third round. In the fourth and final round, in which only the two candidates who won the most votes in the previous round will run, it will be enough for a candidate to obtain the majority of votes cast to be elected as speaker.
The Justice and Development Party (AK Party), which has 317 seats in Parliament, is expected to see its candidate easily win the position, which is Turkeyand’s number-two post after that of the president. The AK Partyand’s candidate is ismail Kahraman, an AK Party deputy who is close to President Reep Tayyip Erdogan.
Like Erdogan, Kahraman traces his roots to the Eastern Black Sea province of Rize. He served as minister of culture in the 1990s. Turkish media reported that during a ceremony last year, Kahraman likened Erdogan to Ottoman sultans by introducing him as the grandson of Mehmed the Conqueror.
Kahraman praised Erdogan, who was then prime minister, for what Erdogan had achieved during the AK Partyand’s years in power and gave Erdogan a gold coin of 22 carats similar to those minted for Ottoman sultans. The gold coin had Erdoganand’s picture on one its faces while the other face had the signature of Mehmed the Conqueror.
Erdogan and the AK Party are regularly accused of nostalgia for the Ottoman period. The AK Party has long been criticized by opposition groups for pursuing a neo-Ottoman — that is, interventionist — foreign policy. The Turkish president headed AK Party governments for 12 years before being elected president in August last year and is still very influential in the party.


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