The Turkish Parliament is set to elect its new speaker in five days as the current head, Binali Yıldırım, has resigned from his post to run for Istanbul mayor in the upcoming March 31 municipal elections.
“It was a pleasure for the last seven months working with our lawmakers who are representing the will of our people. I tried to rule parliament without discriminating any political party group and in a way based on compromise,” Yıldırım told the lawmakers.
“I was the last prime minister of the old parliamentary system. I became the first parliamentary speaker under the new presidential governmental system. Now, I am the first parliament speaker running for local elections. As you see, it’s all about firsts and lasts,” he joked.
Yıldırım was elected as parliament speaker right after the June 24 presidential and parliamentary elections. His resignation came after ire from opposition parties who said he was violating the Turkish constitution, which bans parliament speakers from partaking in any political activity.
Following his resignation, Yıldırım handed over his office to interim Parliament Speaker Celal Adan of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP).
The process of the election of the new parliament is set to begin after Yıldırım’s appeal will be announced at the General Assembly. Those who want to run for office will have to submit their applications to parliament in five days. On Feb. 24, parliament will begin the voting process for the office.
To be elected for the post, a candidate needs to garner at least 400 out of 600 votes in the first two rounds. The third round, however, requires 301 votes for being elected as parliament speaker. Given the current parliamentary composition, the election of the new speaker will likely occur in the third round.
The Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the MHP will continue their alliance for the parliamentary speaker elections as the latter has already announced it won’t present any candidate and will endorse the AKP’s nominee. In this case, the AKP’s candidate seems likely to be elected in the third round of votes.
Among potential candidates for the post from the AKP are deputy party leader Hayati Yazıcı, parliamentary group leader Naci Bostancı, his deputy Bülent Turan and vice speakerMustafa Şentop. The nominee is expected to be decided at the AKP’s weekly decision-making body meeting on late Feb. 20.