Turkey’s main parties divided over whether next president must come from new parliament

The two main parties — the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the Republican People’s Party (CHP) — are at odds over whether the next president must be a member of the new parliament, according to local press reports Wednesday (July 11th). Because the legislature failed to elect a successor to outgoing President Ahmet Necdet Sezer, early general elections are being held on July 22nd. The new dispute between AKP and CHP reportedly emerged after Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan suggested that his AKP would seek an agreement with the opposition about the next presidential candidate.CHP leader Deniz Baykal said on Tuesday that compromise for CHP would mean choosing someone not involved in politics or parliament. Erdogan disagreed, saying the president must be elected from the ranks of lawmakers.

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