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Turkey’s parliament elects new speaker today


Turkey’s parliament elects new speaker today

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Photo: Mustafa Oztartan/Turkish Presidential Press Office/Handout via REUTERS

Turkey’s parliament will vote to elect a new speaker today. The governing Justice and Development Party (AKP) nominee and current speaker Mustafa Sentop is the most likely choice.

In the first round of voting today, the candidate receiving two-thirds of the tally will win, but in the event of a second round of voting, the candidate with a simple majority will win. Since the AKP has 291 of the 600 parliament seats—and won the election last year with 336 votes and the same candidate—there is a high likelihood that Sentop will again emerge victorious.

Though Sentop, a loyalist to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, will likely remain as a lesser-known public figure, an immediate consequence of his victory will likely be the continued crackdown on opposition members of parliament. Earlier in June, three opposition lawmakers, including Republican People’s Party (CHP) MP Enis Berberoglu, were dismissed from parliament, and the recent approval of a controversial reform on bar associations will make opposition politicians even more vulnerable to dismissal.

As the parliament prepares to debate implementing stricter security clearance standards for those entering the government sector, expect a Sentop victory to further exclude the opposition from policymaking.

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