Turkey’s President Erdogan announces elections on May 14

23 January, 2023 | Vaishali Sharma

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Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared on Sunday that elections would take place on May 14, one month earlier than expected

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared on Sunday that elections would take place on May 14, one month earlier than expected, according to a video posted by his office on Sunday.

Erdogan announced his intention to run for office again during a youth convention on Saturday in Bursa province, northwest Turkey.

A video of the event was released on Sunday. “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 June 18.

An election in June would fall during the summer travel season, according to a former official of his AK Party.

The elections for this year were scheduled for June. However, supporters of the ruling party claimed that month would fall on a summer and a time of religious holidays, leading to an earlier deadline, according to The Washington Post.

The Washington Post reported that a second round of voting will be place on May 28 if no contender received more than 50% of the vote.

Since 2003, Erdogan has served in the government, first as prime minister and, since 2014, as president.
The Turkish strongman, who has been in power for 20 years and has shaped the politics of the primarily Muslim but formally secular nation, faces his toughest election yet.

According to opinion polls, the legislative and presidential elections will be close and represent Erdogan’s biggest test in his 20 years as leader of the NATO member and significant developing market economy in the region, according to Khaleej Times.

The opposition alliance, which is still divided over who should run as a single candidate against the 68-year-old leader, also endorsed holding the elections on May 14.

A presidential candidate has not yet been announced by the six-party opposition alliance. According to The Washington Post, a pro-Kurdish party that is currently the third-largest in parliament has been expelled from the alliance and has indicated that it may run its own candidate.

In 2018, 68-year-old Erdogan enacted a new form of government that eliminated the position of prime minister and gave the president the lion’s share of authority. Prior to it, the presidency was essentially a ceremonial position. The presidential and parliamentary elections are held on the same day under the new system.

The opposition has accused Erdogan of being “one-man rule” and blamed him for Turkey’s economic crisis as well as the degradation of human rights and liberties.