The Turkish Parliament went through the formality of holding a seventh ballot in the presidential elections on Wednesday (21 March) with only one candidate standing -- Mr.
The Turkish Parliament went through the formality of holding a seventh ballot in the presidential elections on Wednesday (21 March) with only one candidate standing -- Mr. Ferruh Bozbeyli of the right wing Democratic Party.
The other two candidates, General Faruk Gurler and senate Speaker Tekin Arburun, both withdrew from the elections on Tuesday (20 March).
Mr. Bozbeyli, who trailed in each of the earlier six ballots with only 48 votes, refused to withdraw. On Wednesday he polled 92, which is far short of the 318-vote target.
On the same day, President Cevdet Sunay met with opponents of the amendments to the constitution, which will enable him to seek another seven-year term, in an apparent effort to persuade them not to stall the legislation's passage through parliament.
But in spite of his efforts, Turkey's a National Assembly (Lower House of Parliament) rejected proposals to extend the term of President Sunay on Thursday (22 March). Only 299 votes were cast in favour of the amendments -- 2 votes short of the necessary two-thirds majority.
The defeat came as a surprise. The Justice and Republican People's Parties -- proposers of the amendments -- control more than 300 seats in the Lower House.
The only road open to Parliament now appears to be in another ballot, with the hope that a compromise candidate would emerge who can gather sufficient votes.