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EU supports call to hold earlier polls in Turkey

EU supports call to hold earlier polls in Turkey

The European Commission welcomed yesterday a proposal by Turkey's AK Party to bring forward a parliamentary election to June 24 in a bid to ease tensions between the Islamist-rooted government and the secular elite.
The EU executive also called on all parties to respect a decision on Tuesday by the Constitutional Court to annul the first round, a step earlier criticised by Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan.
"The respect of state institutions is essential to ensure political stability," a spokesman said, reading from a statement by Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn.
The Commission also stepped up its warning to Turkey's military to stay out of politics, noting that the supremacy of democratic civilian power over the military was one of the core principles to be respected by any EU hopeful.
"If a country wants to become a member of the Union, it needs to respect these principles," it said.
"The Commission expects that the parliamentary and presidential elections will be carried out democratically without any undue interference, and in an atmosphere of responsible debate and political stability," it added.
Turkey's troubled accession talks with the European Union began in October 2005 and have already been slowed by a longstanding diplomatic row with EU member Cyprus.
Erdogan called for an early election on Tuesday after losing a battle in Turkey's highest court over a presidential election. The AK Party's presidential candidate, Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul, is a former Islamist.
A threat by the army to intervene in the presidential poll, an opposition boycott of the first round vote in parliament and an anti-government rally of up to 1 million people on Sunday have sharply increased tensions in Turkey.


Updated : 2021-06-15 12:50 GMT+08:00