Turkish constitutional court rejected ban on ruling party

On July 30, 2008, the Constitutional Court of Turkey rejected a bid to ban the country's ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), which was accused of ignoring the secular principles of the country's constitution. Six of the 11 judges on the court favored dissolving the party, but seven were required to successfully pass the ban. The court agreed that the party violated the constitution's secular principles, but only ordered that the state treasury reduce the party's funding by half in response. Critics predicted that the decision could have grave consequences for the secular state, but others, including EU officials, praised the ruling. European Parliament President Hans-Gert Poettering had earlier said it would be "absurd" for the court to close the party as it had come to power through democratic means.

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