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Gul Fails to Win Presidency in 2nd Round of Turkish Voting


The Turkish Parliament has held a second round of presidential voting, and leading candidate Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul failed to obtain enough votes for victory.

In the balloting Friday, Gul received 337 votes, which was 30 short of the two-thirds needed in the 550-member parliament. He is expected to be elected in the third round of voting on Tuesday, when only a simple majority is required.

Gul's Islamic-rooted Justice and Development Party has a majority in parliament, but does not have enough support to win two-thirds of the vote. Turkey's main opposition party is boycotting the presidential vote.

In the first round of voting Monday, Gul received 341 votes.

Turkey's secularists fear Gul, a devout Muslim, will undermine constitutionally enshrined secular principles, but Gul has pledged to uphold Turkey's secularist system.

Gul's wife wears an Islamic headscarf, which has been banned in Turkey's public offices and schools since a 1980 military coup.

His nomination for president earlier this year sparked a political crisis in which thousands of secularists took to the streets to protest his candidacy. The military threatened to intervene to protect the Turkey's secular system, but Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned the military not to get involved.

Mr. Erdogan strongly supports Gul's nomination.

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

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