Wed, Aug 01, 2007 - Page 6 News List

Final poll results confirm Turkish ruling party's win

AP , ISTANBUL, TURKEY

Turkish authorities have announced the final results of the nation's general elections, confirming the ruling party's victory.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's Justice and Development Party, or AKP, took 341 of the 550 seats, down from 351 in the outgoing parliament, electoral board director Muammer Aydin said on Monday.

Aydin also confirmed that the AKP, which is associated with Turkey's Islamist movement, got 46.6 percent of the votes, almost 12 percentage points more than in the previous elections.

The main opposition Republican People's Party won 112 seats. The far-right Nationalist Action Party returned to the parliament with 70 seats, after a five-year absence, Aydin said.

Nationalist Action would have been represented by 71 legislators, but one of its newly elected lawmakers was killed in a car crash on Thursday and his seat will remain empty.

The election results confirmed that 26 independents, including 22 pro-Kurdish lawmakers, won seats.

The pro-Kurdish lawmakers ran in the election as independents to circumvent a 10 percent vote threshold required to win representation in parliament.

They regrouped on Sunday under the banner of the pro-Kurdish Democratic Society Party, which seeks more rights for the ethnic minority.

Officials from the party petitioned on Monday to have the party registered in the parliament.

The parliament was scheduled to be sworn in on Saturday. Once the new government is formed, parliament must choose a new president

The Nationalist Action Party has already pledged to help the government achieve the quorum needed to elect a president. In May, parliament failed to reach a quorum in a similar vote.

Erdogan had nominated Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul, one of his closest allies, for the presidency in April, sparking a backlash from the firmly secular opposition.

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