Archive for Sunday, April 29, 2007

Military rebuked for challenging leadership

April 29, 2007

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— The pro-Islamic government rebuked the military on Saturday for threatening to intervene in a disputed presidential election, saying it was "unthinkable" for the institution to challenge the political leadership in a democracy.

The election of a new president by Turkey's 550-seat parliament has raised tensions between the Islamic-leaning ruling party, whose candidate is favored to win, and the secular opposition which boycotted a first round of voting on Friday.

Although the post is largely ceremonial, the president can veto legislation and the post has been a stronghold for secularists.

The prospect of electing a leading member of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's government has unnerved Turkey's secular establishment.

The ruling party candidate, Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul, failed to win enough votes Friday for a first-round victory.

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