President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced that the presidential and parliamentary elections, which were planned to be held in June, will be postponed to 14 May. According to the state news agency Anadolu, Erdogan is thanking God for going to the elections on May 14 for the first time with the voters, during a meeting with young voters on Sunday evening in Bursa in western Turkey. .
Erdogan had already activated May 14 as the election date on Wednesday. The elections are seen as a test for Erdogan, who has been in power for 20 years: he was elected prime minister in 2003 and president since 2014. According to the polls, Erdogan’s reelection is far from certain.
Early elections can be held with the votes of 60 percent of the deputies in the Parliament or by a presidential decree. Erdogan’s ruling Islamic-conservative AKP, along with its ultranationalist partner MHP, currently has only an absolute majority in parliament. With his statement, Erdogan made it clear that he now aims to bring the election to the fore on his own.
Erdogan looks set to inflame the debate over his renewed candidacy: The opposition argues that Erdogan, who was elected president for the first time in 2014 and a second time in 2018, is constitutionally not allowed to run for a third time. A third nomination is envisioned only if Parliament pushes early elections.
According to the government, there are no obstacles to Erdogan’s candidacy. He opposes that Erdogan was elected the first president in the new presidential system in 2018, following the constitutional amendment. That is, the previous tenure does not count. Constitutionalists are also divided on this issue.