Presidential Candidate must Embrace All in Turkey

Iran Materials 19 June 2006 13:19 (UTC +04:00)

(Zaman) - Controversies over the May 2007 presidential elections are still at peak.

Returning from a visit to Croatia and Macedonia, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan described the qualities of an ideal presidential candidate, reports Trend.

The person to be appointed for Cankaya (Presidents office) should embrace all, Erdogan said and added: This should be a person to represent Turkey well, establish the foundation for peace, love, union, solidarity and friendship in the country and to coordinate this foundation well. It must someone with excellent leadership skills.

When reporters said, Your words hint at Tayyip Erdogan as the next president, the Prime Minister denied sending such a message and said anyone with these characteristics can become president.

It is early and wrong to express such an opinion. It is also disrespect towards our current president. We still have 11 months ahead of us. This should not be on Turkeys agenda now, Erdogan asserted.

Erdogan stated they will use their democratic rights in the Parliament in the most ideal way and said the Justice and Development Party (AKP) group will make its decision on the presidential candidate when the time comes.

Erdogan also implicitly referred to former President Suleyman Demirel stating for some time that the public should elect the president.

Erdogan asserted Demirel is in an effort to mislead and said: If you pay attention, you will see that some are trying to mislead the public. Those who wanted the president to be elected by the parliament and rejected the view that the public should elect the president for many years are now saying just the opposite.

Indicating the voter percentage for Demirels party when he was elected president was much below than that of AKP today, Erdogan said: Some people disrespect the Parliament by stating that this parliament does not have the authority to elect the president. When you look at the total votes obtained by the parties that have groups at the parliament today, you see it has such an authority. Those who say such words had incomparably lower votes when they were elected president.

Asked Will you reach a consensus with the parties? Prime Minister made the following assessment: We are speaking about an election. The other parties have their own candidates and we will have our own candidate. The search for consensus today will be as successful as they have been so far. It does not depend on the Parliament only. Relationships within and outside the Parliament are also very important.