Monday, June 13, 2011

Erdogan en route to a third victory in parliamentary elections in Turkey

Polls opened Sunday in Turkey for the parliamentary elections. The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to power the favorite. All polls predict that the AKP, backed by the popular classes, will win the elections with a victory of magnitude reduced compared to the 2007 legislative elections, winning a third straight win since 2002.

The popularity of Mr. Erdogan, 57, relies heavily on the country's economic prowess: 17th world economy, Turkey is experiencing strong growth, with 8.9% in 2010. Over 50 million voters out of a population of some 73 million, are asked to vote in more than 200,000 polling stations to renew the 550-seat Parliament.

Candidates from 15 parties and 200 independent candidates are running. Besides the AKP, only two other parties, the Republican People's Party (CHP center-left) and the Nationalist Action (MHP nationalist) should exceed the threshold of 10% nationally vital to be represented Parliament. The commentators do not discuss the name of the eventual winner but the magnitude of the victory of the government camp.

The real uncertainty lies in following the vote, when the government will have a freer hand to focus on a new constitution more liberal. The challenge for the AKP is to obtain a "super majority to establish a presidential system, an idea dear to Mr. Erdogan. At the head of government, Mr.

Erdogan has changed Turkey, a Muslim country NATO ally, over the past decade. He raised his diplomatic status in a conflict region, boosted economic growth and expanded the democratic leaving the country of the Guardianship of the army. But the prospect of another success for Mr. Erdogan worried some who fear an autocratic regime.

The first estimates are expected to 20 hours.

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