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Cablegate: Turkey: High Court Rejects Challenges;

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PP RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHDA RUEHDBU RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK RUEHKW RUEHLA
RUEHLN RUEHLZ RUEHPOD RUEHROV RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHAK #1731/01 1871412
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 061412Z JUL 07
FM AMEMBASSY ANKARA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 2864
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHDA/AMCONSUL ADANA PRIORITY 2114
RHMFIUU/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE PRIORITY
RUEHAK/USDAO ANKARA TU PRIORITY
RUEUITH/TLO ANKARA TU PRIORITY
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RUEUITH/ODC ANKARA TU PRIORITY
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RHMFIUU/39ABG CP INCIRLIK AB TU PRIORITY
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RHMFIUU/425ABS IZMIR TU//CC// PRIORITY
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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ANKARA 001731

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV TU
SUBJECT: TURKEY: HIGH COURT REJECTS CHALLENGES;
CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS PACKAGE ON DIRECT PRESIDENTIAL
ELECTIONS TO GO TO REFERENDUM

REF: A. ANKARA 1539

B. ANKARA 1346 AND PREVIOUS

ANKARA 00001731 001.2 OF 002


1. (U) Summary: Late July 5, Turkey's Constitutional Court
(CC) announced that it had rejected appeals from main
opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) and President
Sezer that would have annulled the constitutional amendment
package that provides for, i.a., direct election of the
president. The package is now set to go to referendum; the
Supreme Election Board (SEB) announced the referendum would
take place October 21. Barring other procedural moves (which
can never be ruled out), the next president will be elected
by the new parliament that results from the July 22 general
elections; the amendment package would likely go into force
in the subsequent presidential election. End summary.

2. (U) In a move that surprised virtually all commentators,
the CC on July 5 rejected two separate procedural objections
earlier lodged by President Sezer and the opposition CHP.
The constitutional amendment package will now go to a
referendum which, per the SEB chairman, is currently
scheduled for October 21. The package provides for:

--direct election of the president (parliament currently
elects the president) for a maximum of two five-year terms;

--reduction of the current five-year parliamentary term to
four years; and

--setting the parliamentary quorum requirement at 184 (or
one-third of all seats) for all constitutional provisions.

3. (U) At this juncture, it appears likely that the new
parliament that results from the July 22 general elections
will elect the next president under the current
constitutional provisions. Based on the May 1 CC ruling,
this will require a super quorum of 367 MPs. Unless one
party does exceptionally well in the elections and garners
367 or more seats in the 550-seat parliament, this will
require parties to compromise on a candidate if they do not
want to be thrown back immediately into yet another general
election.

4. (U) The order of business after the July 22 election
likely will include the following elements:

--parliament convenes five days after the official
announcement of election results;

--parliamentarians take their oaths, a new speaker is elected
and a speakership council formed, likely by mid-August;

--a prime minister, appointed by the president from among the
new MPs, nominates a cabinet which parliament must approve
within 45 days of the PM's appointment or the president may
call for new elections;

--parliamentarians move to elect a new president; once
initiated, a candidate must be elected within 30 days or it
will be back to the ballot box for Turks.

5. (U) The presidential election may run concurrently with
government formation efforts. Normally, once MPs are sworn
in, a speaker elected and speakership board constituted, the
sitting president would appoint "an MP" (traditionally, but
not always, the head of the party with the most seats) to
form a government. The PM-designee then has 45 days within
which to form a government. If no government can be formed
within that period, the country would again go to the polls.

6. (SBU) Comment: Theories on why the CC decided to reject
the appeals, as well as on timing and possibilities for the
referendum and the presidential election are already flying
fast and furious. What is important now is that Turkey
continue with the general election process already in train,
and that all politicians proceed calmly and responsibly with
respect to both the (parliamentary) presidential election,

ANKARA 00001731 002.2 OF 002


and the upcoming referendum. We will counsel reason and
compromise. Anything can happen, though, in the current
overheated election atmosphere. End comment.

Visit Ankara's Classified Web Site at
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/eur/ankara/

WILSON

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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