Turkey's Top Court Upholds President's Seven-Year Term

Posted on: June 15, 2012 at 00:08
Turkey's top constitutional court on Friday dismissed an opposition appeal to end President Abdullah Gul's term this year, ruling that he can serve seven years.

The court also ruled that Gul can seek re-election in 2014, but only for a five-year term.

The controversy originated from constitutional reforms sponsored by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) that were approved in a 2007 referendum shortly after parliament elected Gul as president.

At the time, Gul was Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's right-hand man at the AKP, which has Islamist roots.

But an army-backed secularist campaign blocked the parliamentary appointment, prompting the AKP government to call snap general elections, which the ruling party won in a landslide.

A new vote in the AKP-dominated party reconfirmed Gul as president.

Meanwhile, the constitutional reforms reduced the presidential term to five years, renewable once.

Parliament passed a law in January stipulating that Gul's term should end in 2014, while the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) argued that the reforms should apply to Gul's presidency, meaning that he should serve five years instead of seven.

The Turkish presidency is largely ceremonial, although the head of state does have the power to veto legislation.

Source:Agence France Presse
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