The Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit's 21-month old social Democratic Government faces a major test in Lower House by-elections and partial senate election which will take place on October 14.
The Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit's 21-month old social Democratic Government faces a major test in Lower House by-elections and partial senate election which will take place on October 14. The outcome of the elections could affect Mr. ecevit's ability to command support in the Assembly.
SYNOPSIS: The marchers support Mr. Ecevit's Republican People's Party. The RPP, and regular independent deputy supporters, have 219 seats in the 450-seat Lower House. The right- wing Opposition led by Suleyman Demirel's Justice Party and other independents, have 224 votes. Observers say Mr. Ecevit's government has survived because a successful parliamentary vote of no confidence needs the support of more than half the full assembly, a total of 226 votes.
At this rally in Istanbul on Tuesday (9 October) the police were taking no chances on possible attempts to disturb the event. There has already been violence during the campaign. Salim Dursunoglu, a candidate for the Senate elections for the Justice Party, was murdered a few days before this rally was held.
As the capacity crowd surged forward with their chant "Ecevit", one casualty had to be carried out. Some of the issues being discussed in the campaign are political violence and terrorism. and shortages of many consumer goods.
Defections to other parties, resignations and deaths have reduced the number of RPP seats. Even a sweep of the five seats to be filled in the coming elections would leave the RPP short of a clear majority, so Mr. Ecevit is looking for support among the independents, particularly from the National Salvation Party.
Political observers expect former Premier Suleyman Demirel's Justice Party to take at least three seats, thus continuing to make Mr. Ecevit's job of acquiring enough support a difficult one.