Turkey's PM 'can remain at post to run for president'

Photo: Turkey's PM 'can remain at post to run for president' / Turkey

Turkey's prime minister does not need to resign from his post in order to run for presidency, said the country's head of the Turkish Parliament Constitutional Commission, Anadolu Agency reported.

"The law is clear," said Burhan Kuzu. "The ones obliged to resign [to run in presidential election] are listed clearly and it does not include the prime minister."

Turkey will go to polls on August 10 for the first round of presidential elections, during which the president will be elected by the people and not by the parliament. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is one of the names widely seen as a possible candidate for presidency.

"The Prime Minister, if elected as president, will be on his duty until he is officially the president," Kuzu added.

Another deputy from AK Party, Ahmet Iyimaya, also in charge of the justice commission in the Turkish parliament, said there is not a constitutional mandate for someone who holds such an important post to resign due to his presidential candidateship.

The conditions that obligate resignation to run for the presidency are the same as legislative elections and this does not contradict with the Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's possible candidateship, according to Mustafa Sentop, deputy chairman of AK Party.

Earlier, former Justice Minister Hikmet Sami Turk said the prime minister is not among those who have to resign to run for President, according to article 11 of the presidential election law.

He said the main reason why candidates should resign from office was to make sure that all candidates have equal conditions.

If the prime minister runs for election without resigning and is elected as president, then the present government will come to an end and a new prime minister will be needed, Turk added.

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