Turkey ex-PM Yildirim elected parliament speaker

Binali Yildirim, former Turkey's Prime Minister and member of parliament from Izmir, with the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) listens to a speech by Turkey's President and party leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the parliament in Ankara, Turkey, Saturday, July 7, 2018. (AP)
Updated 12 July 2018
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Turkey ex-PM Yildirim elected parliament speaker

ANKARA: Turkey’s new parliament on Thursday elected as speaker former prime minister Binali Yildirim, a loyalist of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan whose post was abolished after elections last month.
The 600-member parliament approved Yildirim, 62, of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) as the new speaker with 335 votes in the third round of voting.
Erdogan’s AKP is just short of a majority in the parliament, but counts on backing from its ally, the hard-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), whose votes helped agree Yildirim as speaker.
Yildirim went down in Turkey’s modern history on Monday as the last of its 27 prime ministers, as the country switched from a parliamentary to a presidential system with Erdogan’s outright victory in the June 24 elections.
A former transport minister who oversaw the implementation of major construction projects, Yildirim is a close ally of Erdogan, who made him prime minister in 2016.
Under the new system, Erdogan enjoys sweeping executive powers including the authority to form a cabinet and to dissolve parliament.
Parliament however retains some powers, and while the speaker position is largely ceremonial the incumbent can play an important role thrashing out compromise on contentious legislation.
Yildirim strongly campaigned for the new presidential system, with no sign of concern that he stood to lose his own job.
While the new system no longer has a prime minister, it now has a vice president, a post Erdogan handed to the low-profile former head of Turkey’s emergencies agency, Fuat Oktay.


Netanyahu says new Israel elections would be ‘irresponsible’

Updated 35 min 37 sec ago
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Netanyahu says new Israel elections would be ‘irresponsible’

  • Netanyahu issued the message on Monday moments before education minister is to announce where stay or leave coalition
  • Netanyahu says he will do whatever is needed to protect the country

JERUSALEM: Israel’s prime minister says it would be “irresponsible” to dissolve the government and call early elections.
Benjamin Netanyahu issued the message on Monday, moments before his education minister, Naftali Bennett, was to announce whether he’s pulling his Jewish Home Party out of the coalition.
If Bennett leaves, it would cause the government to collapse and trigger new elections.
Bennett has threatened to withdraw from the coalition to protest a cease-fire reached by Netanyahu last week with Hamas militants. Netanyahu’s defense minister, Avigdor Lieberman, resigned in protest.
Bennett had demanded the defense portfolio as a condition for remaining in the government. But late Sunday, Netanyahu said he would take the job himself.
Netanyahu says he will do whatever is needed to protect the country, regardless of his coalition partners’ decision.