On January 22, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced that elections will be held on May 14, a month earlier than scheduled, according to a video shared by his office on January 22.
At a youth conference on January 21 in Bursa Province, Northwest Turkey, Erdogan, Erdogan, who plans to seek re-election, announced his intentions. On January 22, a video of the occasion was made available.”I thank God that we are destined to share our path with you, our valued youth, who will vote for the first time in the elections that will be held on May 14,” said Erdogan.
“This is not an early election but bringing it forward,” Erdogan said in a video from his meeting with young people in Bursa, shared by the presidency.
According to Khaleej Times, President Erdogan had previously hinted that the presidential and parliamentary elections in Turkey would be held earlier than scheduled on June 18.
An election in June would fall within the summer travel season, according to a previous statement made by a representative of his AK Party. The scheduled date for this year’s elections was June. However, according to members of the ruling party, that month would coincide with summer and religious holidays, prompting an earlier date, reported The Washington Post.
According to The Washington Post, a second round of voting would take place on May 28 if no candidate received more than 50 per cent of the vote. Erdogan has held power since 2003, initially as prime minister and, as of 2014, as president.
The Turkish strongman, who has been in power for 20 years, shaping the predominantly Muslim but officially secular country’s politics, faces his toughest election yet.Opinion polls show the parliamentary and presidential elections will be tight and will mark Erdogan’s biggest test in his two decades at the reins of the regional military power, NATO member and major emerging market economy.
The May 14 election date was also supported by the opposition alliance, still arguing over the choice of a united candidate against the 68-year-old leader.
A six-party opposition alliance has yet to put forth a presidential candidate. According to the Washington Post, a pro-Kurdish party that is the third-largest in parliament has so far been excluded from the alliance and said it might field its own candidate.
In 2018, 68-year-old Erdogan introduced a governance system that abolished the prime minister’s office and concentrated most powers in the hands of the president. The office of the president was primarily a ceremonial post before then. Under the new system, presidential and parliamentary elections are held on the same day.
The opposition has blamed Turkey’s economic downturn and an erosion of civil rights and freedoms on Erdogan, saying the revised government system amounts to “one-man rule.”