As counting continued on Monday (13 October) for senate elections held in Turkey on Sunday (12 October) it appeared that opposition leader, Mr.
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Background: As counting continued on Monday (13 October) for senate elections held in Turkey on Sunday (12 October) it appeared that opposition leader, Mr. Bulent Ecevit, had tripled his share of seats.
Turkey's voters went to the polls on Sunday to decide on fifty four of the 150 senate seats and six places in the 450 strong National Assembly that were up for renewal. The election was also seen as a chance for the people to pass judgement on Prime Minister Suleyman Demirel's right of centre coalition government. Mr. Demirel came to power six months ago after a protracted political crisis.
The voting indicated a trend against the small right wing parties and towards Mr. Ecevit's Social Democratic Republican Peoples Party.
It seemed certain that Mr. Ecevit had increased his seats in the senate from eight to twenty-five while making only minor inroads on the National Assembly vote. Mr. Demirel's pro-private enterprise Justice Party appeared certain of twenty six senate seats - a loss of six - while gaining four National Assembly seats.
Mr. Ecevit had predicted taking forty-five per cent of the vote but with many votes from outlying and usually conservative Anatolian villages to be counted it is predicted he will fall short of this target.
Despite Mr. Ecevit's gains the outcome is unlikely to alter the parliamentary power balance where the Prime Minister commands an overall senate majority and a slim supremacy in the lower house.
SYNOPSIS: On Sunday Turkey's nine million voters went to the polls to decide on fifty-four of one hundred and fifty senate seats. Six seats in the four hundred and fifty strong National Assembly were also up for renewal.
Although the overall result is unlikely to alter the parliamentary balance of power held by Prime Minister Suleyman Demirel's right of centre coalition government the election was seen as a referendum on Mr. Demirel's leadership.
Mr. Demirel's pro-private enterprise Justice Party came to power six months ago after a protracted political crisis. Prior to Sunday's elections there had been violent clashes. At least one person was killed and many more injured, when police tried to stop supporters of left-of-centre opposition leader Bulent Ecevit from marching on the city centre after a mass rally.
As counting continued on Monday it appeared that Mr. Demirel's political enemy, opposition leader Bulent Evecit, had trebled his seats in the senate. It seemed that Mr. Ecevit's Social Democratic Republican Peoples Party had increased its senate seats from eight to twenty-five but had made only minor inroads on the National Assembly vote.
Mr. Demirel's party appeared certain of winning twenty-six senate seats with a loss of six and had picked up four more National Assembly seats. As predicted both major parties have increased their percentage of votes on their nineteen-seventy-three figures but all minor right wing parties which contested the election have lost around.
Mr. Ecevit had predicted taking forty-five per cent of the vote but with votes from outlying Anatolian and usually conservative villages yet to be counted this now seem highly unlikely.