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Turkey's Parliament Elects New Speaker

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TEHRAN, July 5 (ICANA) – Turkey's parliament has elected the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party lawmaker Cemil Cicek as its new speaker following three rounds of voting against other candidates.
Tuesday, July 05, 2011 6:28:55 PM
Turkey's Parliament Elects New Speaker

Cicek, a deputy in Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's former government, received 322 ballots out of the total 376 votes cast in the third round on Monday, Anatolia news agency reported.

AK parliamentarian Zelkif Kazdal and Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) candidate Tunca Toskay were the other two contenders running for the post.

Lawmakers from the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) and pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) did not participate in the vote as the two parties had boycotted the parliament.

According to the Turkish Constitution, one has to obtain two-thirds of the votes recorded by lawmakers in the first two rounds of voting to be elected as the country's parliament speaker.

In his first interview as the new Turkish parliament speaker, Cicek told Today's Zaman that “The biggest job for the new Parliament is to make a new Constitution. We have a great opportunity to ensure that Turkey has a modern Constitution.”

“It is a shame that Turkey is being governed by a Constitution that reflects the spirit of the 1980 military coup in this age,” he added.

“We have one of those rare Constitutions that attract bitter criticism but are still in effect. It is now time to stop imitating others and be ourselves,” Cicek concluded.

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