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Court rules first round of presidential vote void


Court rules first round of presidential vote void

Turkey’s constitutional court has declared invalid the first round of controversial presidential elections, deepening the political crisis in the country. The court upheld claims by the secular opposition that not enough politicians took part in Friday’s ballot for the vote to be valid. The court’s deputy head said a majority of judges allowed the claim, with only two dissenting. The decision is binding and final.

An MP said a timetable for a future vote may be set after a meeting tomorrow. A government spokesman said the cabinet would ensure 367 MPs were present at such a poll, to avoid a repeat of the annulled ballot.

The opposition wants to stop the ruling AK party’s candidate, Abdullah Gul, a former Islamist, from becoming head of state. But his eventual success seems assured, as he is the only candidate running. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has left the door open to calling a snap general election to resolve the standoff between the government and secularists in the country.