Erdogan brings Turkish general elections forward to May 14

Istanbul, Mar 10 (EFE).- Turkey will hold presidential and parliamentary elections on May 14, five weeks earlier than planned, Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Friday.

The conservative Islamist incumbent made the announcement in a speech broadcast on NTV.

“With the authority given by Article 116 of our Constitution, I signed the decree for renewing the elections on May 14, which were scheduled to be held on June 18, 2023,” Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in Ankara.

“Our election agenda will again consist of healing the wounds of the earthquake victims and compensating the economic and social damages of this disaster,” Erdogan added.

The president has always made clear his intention to run for re-election, supported by his party, the Islamist AKP which has governed Turkey since 2002, and the ultra-nationalist MHP.

The opposition, consisting mainly of the social-democratic CHP and the nationalist IYI, as well as four smaller liberal, Islamist and conservative parties, nominated a consensus candidate, Kemal Kiliçdaroglu, head of the CHP’s ranks, on Monday.

It is still unclear whether the third-largest party in parliament, the leftist, pro-Kurdish HDP, which usually garners around 10% of the vote, will nominate a candidate of its own for the first round or whether it will join the coalition supporting Kiliçdaroglu.

Most recent polls predict a victory for Kiliçdaroglu, giving him around 55 % of the vote, with Erdogan garnering between 43 and 45 %.

The massive twin earthquakes which struck southern Turkey in February, leaving approximately 47,000 people dead, according to official data, and forcing two million people to flee the region, with another 1.5 million surviving in tents, have posed a major logistical challenge to holding the elections, as well as triggering a public outcry at the government’s response to the disaster. EFE


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