Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) on Wednesday said they would apply to the Constitutional Court against the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) nomination of Parliament Speaker Binali Yıldırım for mayor of İstanbul in upcoming local elections.
CHP deputy and member of parliament’s Constitution Committee Murat Emir told the T24 news website that Yıldırım’s mayoral bid without resigning from the speaker’s office is a violation of the Turkish constitution.
According to Article 94 of the constitution, parliament speakers cannot participate in the activities of political parties in or outside of parliament. They also cannot vote in parliamentary sessions.
However, on Dec. 25, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan told journalists in parliament that Yıldırım could be a nominee without resigning from his post.
“If a deputy becomes a candidate for a mayoral position, their membership in parliament can continue during the local elections. This is the case for the parliament speaker,” Erdoğan said.
Four days later, the AKP announced Yıldırım as the candidate for İstanbul mayor for the local elections scheduled in March.
“The president is violating the constitution,” Emir said.