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Monday, July 4, 2011

Turkey's opposition boycotts parliament | EurActiv

I'm busy grading papers (belatedly) so I will just post this link to a EurActiv article on the turbulent opening of the Turkish parliament on June 28. The two opposition parties in the Grand National Assembly (GNA) - the CHP and the BDP (which only has MPs who ran as independents) boycotted the opening due to some of their candidates having been barred.

From EurActiv's article:
"We will not take the oath unless the way is open for all our deputies to take the oath," CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu said, after a court rejected an appeal for the release of two of the party's candidates who were under detention without having been convicted.

The BDP announced its decision last week after the Election Commission ruled a candidate must forfeit his seat because of a conviction for spreading "terrorist propaganda" and awarded the seat to a runner-up from AK.

AK, a socially conservative party with Islamist roots, took 326 seats. But the disqualification of opponents is potentially enough to take AK past the 330-seat mark, which would give Erdoğan a larger majority to call a referendum for a planned new constitution without the support of other parties.

The BDP bloc stands to lose another five seats after courts ruled against releasing five other candidates, detained on charges of having ties to Kurdish rebels.

Turkey's opposition boycotts parliament | EurActiv

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