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UPDATE 2 - Turkish parliament voting to elect new speaker

UPDATE 2 - Turkish parliament voting to elect new speaker
Current speaker Mustafa Sentop strongest candidate for post

UPDATES WITH SECOND ROUND OF VOTING, EDITS THROUGHOUT

By Emin Avundukluoglu

ANKARA (AA) - Turkish lawmakers on Tuesday is currently voting to elect a new speaker of the parliament.

A secret voting is being held in line with the Turkish Constitution. It began at 4.14 p.m. local time (1314GMT) in parliament.

Mustafa Sentop, the current speaker and ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party's nominee, is the strongest candidate for the post.

The Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) announced that it would support Sentop.

The main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) nominated Haluk Koc, a lawmaker from the capital Ankara who was born in 1954.

The opposition Good (IYI) Party nominated Imam Huseyin Filiz for the post. Born in 1950, Filiz is a lawmaker from the southeastern Gaziantep province.

The opposition Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) nominated Erol Katircioglu, born in 1951. He is a lawmaker from Istanbul.

Turkish Worker Party's lawmaker from Istanbul Erkan Bas, born in 1979, is also among the candidates.

The first and second rounds of voting yielded no clear result, as all five candidates failed to secure the required two-thirds majority to win the seat.

Sentop gained 329 votes, while Koc bagged 133, Katircioglu 53, and Filiz 36 in the second round.

A total of 559 lawmakers cast ballots, while seven votes were declared invalid and one vote was blank.

A third round is currently underway.

Meanwhile, Bas withdrew his candidacy for the post at the beginning of the second round.

In the first two rounds of voting, at least 401 votes of out of 600 deputies are needed to win.

In the third round of voting, a minimum of 301 votes is needed. If a fourth round deems necessary, the candidate with the largest number of votes is elected for the post.

In the Turkish parliament, the ruling AK Party holds 291 seats, while CHP has 138 seats, HDP 58, MHP 49, IYI Party 37, Turkish Workers Party two and independents six seats, whereas Democracy and Progress (Remedy) Party, Democrat Party (DP), Grand Unity Party (BBP), Saadet (Felicity) Party, and Democratic Regions Party (DBP) hold one seat each.

source: News Feed
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