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Cablegate: Turkey: Erdogan and Ak Reportedly Sweep Siirt

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS ANKARA 001488

SIPDIS


E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL TU
SUBJECT: TURKEY: ERDOGAN AND AK REPORTEDLY SWEEP SIIRT
PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS

REF: A. ANKARA 1410
B. ANKARA 1364


1. According to unofficial election results as released by
Siirt governor's office, R. Tayyip Erdogan and his AK Party
swept all three seats in March 9 repeat of parliamentary
election in Siirt province. The elections were re-run owing
to electoral irregularities in Siirt during the Nov. 3
national elections.


-- According to this preliminary report, voting turnout, at
62% of the approx. 119,200 eligible voters, was low by
traditional national standards.


--AK far outstripped its nearest rival, main opposition CHP;
AK reportedly won almost 56,000 (84.7%) of the 66,000 valid
votes to CHP's 9,100 (13.8%). Fringe leftist parties won the
rest.


--Pro-Kurdish DEHAP (HADEP) Party was the big winner in Siirt
on Nov. 3. However, it failed then to clear the nationwide
10% vote hurdle, meaning that even if it won on March 9 DEHAP
could not send deputies to the legislature. In the event,
DEHAP this time around boycotted and urged its supporters to
stay home (ref A). As a result, turnout was lower than on
Nov. 3.


2. Erdogan, previously banned from electoral politics and
unable to run on Nov. 3, will now take a seat in the
parliament. As reported in ref B, we expect Erdogan to
receive his certification of victory and take the M.P. oath
the week of March 10. More important, Erdogan's entry into
Parliament sets the stage for his eventual assumption of the
prime ministership, although precisely when he does so
remains an open question. We have heard that current P.M.
Abdullah Gul will resign as soon as Erdogan enters Parliament
and that Erdogan intends to make Gul his foreign minister.
PEARSON

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