Turkish parliament to elect its new speaker on Nov. 20


Turkish deputies are going to elect their new parliament speaker for 2 years on November 20.

Turkey's parliament is set to elect a new speaker of the assembly on Nov. 20, after all the candidates have declared their intent to run by the filing deadline, Nov. 16.

Current Parliament Speaker İsmail Kahraman, whose two-year term started in November 2015 and will end on Nov. 22, has said he will announce on Nov. 12 whether he is seeking reelection.

Lawmakers will elect the new speaker through a secret ballot of up to four rounds -- as many as are necessary -- on a single day.

In the first two rounds, the candidates will seek a supermajority of 376 lawmakers in the 550-seat parliament.

In the third and fourth rounds, if necessary, a simple majority of 276 lawmakers will be enough to elect a new speaker.

The ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party holds 316 seats in parliament.

Both the AK Party and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), which has 36 seats, have yet to announce their candidates.

The main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) has named former Finance Minister Zekeriya Temizel as its candidate for the post.

The candidate of the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) is Selma Irmak, who on Nov. 3 was sentenced to 10 years in prison on terrorism charges.

The CHP has 131 seats in parliament, while the HDP has 54.

Irmak, HDP deputy for the southeastern Hakkari province, was convicted of managing an armed terrorist organization and spreading propaganda for a terrorist group.

Parliament has yet to carry out the necessary procedures to revoke her seat, though such action is likely.

Last November, along with then-HDP Co-Chairs Selahattin Demirtaş and Figen Yüksekdağ, Irmak was remanded in custody on terrorism charges.

The Turkish government has accused the HDP of having links to the PKK, which is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU.

More than 1,200 people, including security force personnel and civilians, have lost their lives since the PKK resumed its decades-old armed campaign in July 2015.

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