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Turkey's Foreign Minister May Renew Presidential Bid


Turkey's foreign minister has hinted he may make another presidential bid, following his party's victory in Sunday's parliamentary elections.

Abdullah Gul said Wednesday in Ankara that he can not ignore what he said is popular support for his candidacy.

But senior opposition member Mustafa Ozyurek said his Republican People's Party still opposes Gul's bid.

The opposition boycott of presidential elections earlier this year deprived the ruling party of the presence of two-thirds of parliamentarians (quorum) needed to authorize the selection of a new president.

Hundreds of thousands of Turks protested Gul's nomination in late April, with opponents warning that his Islamist past would threaten Turkey's secular republic.

In early parliamentary elections held to resolve the standoff, the ruling party won nearly 47 percent of the vote. But the ruling and Development Party still lacks the two-thirds majority needed to elect a president without opposition support.

Parliament has until August 22 to elect a new president or again submit to new elections.

In April, the military warned it might intervene if a presidential candidate who threatened Turkey's secular order was chosen.

A spokesman for Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's government said Tuesday that the ruling party's election victory is a warning to the military to stay out of politics.

President Ahmet Necdet Sezer's term expired on May 16, but he has remained in office as interim head of state.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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