Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan Signs An Official Document Declaring The Final Date Of Turkey’s 2023 National Elections To Be May 14.
02:19 PM WAT, Fri March 10, 2023
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, who is seeking to extend his two decades in power, has formally set the country’s parliamentary and presidential elections for 14th May.
Speaking during a press conference at the presidential palace in Ankara, Erdogan revealed that with the publication of the decision, which he signed in the official gazette, stressing that the Supreme Electoral Council will prepare and announce the election calendar.
He also announced that his election campaign will be without music due to the country-wide grief of the 6th February earthquake, in which more than 46 people died across Turkey and parts of Syria.
The presidential and parliamentary elections were scheduled to be held on June 18, but the government moved them forward to avoid coinciding with the Hajj pilgrimage, a university entrance exam and the start of the summer vacation season.
Erdogan has signaled that he will base his electoral campaign on the reconstruction of the earthquake-devastated provinces, trying to convince voters that only his government, which was behind a construction boom that helped drive economic growth.
“We need to implement a program that will heal the wounds of an unprecedented destruction at an unprecedented speed,” he said. “The only way to overcome the direct and indirect effects of the earthquake and normalize the situation in the region and our country as soon as possible is through the implementation of decisions by a strong political will.”
The Turkish leader has conceded shortfalls in his government’s response in the early stages of the earthquake, but said that rescue efforts were hampered by winter weather and the destruction of infrastructure. He has promised to rebuild tens of thousands of homes within the year.
The six-party opposition, known as the Nation Alliance, has vowed to restore a parliamentary democracy in Turkey should they dislodge Erdogan, abolishing the presidential system that he introduced. Opponents say the system, which was narrowly approved in a 2017 referendum and was installed following elections in 2018, has amounted to “one-man rule” without checks and balances.
In addition to Kilicdaroglu’s CHP, the opposition alliance is made of Meral Aksener’s nationalist Good Party; Temel Karamollaoglu’s conservative Felicity Party; Gultekin Uysal’s Democrat Party; The Democracy and Progress Party led by Ali Babacan; and Future Party chaired by Ahmet Davutoglu.
The new election, which would be a month earlier than scheduled, could be that country’s most significant vote in decades, as it will determine whether Turkey would take a different path or continue on the course set by the strongman politician.
Erdogan has ruled over Turkey since 2003, first as prime minister and as president since 2014, as this year’s elections could be his most challenging.
Turkey is struggling with a troubled economy, soaring inflation and the aftermath of the powerful earthquake that killed more than 46 thousand people and left hundreds of thousands of people across 11 Turkish provinces sheltering in tents or temporary accommodation.