TURKEY (OBSERVATORY) – Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced the holding of presidential and parliamentary elections early on the twenty-fourth of June.
Erdogan, who has been in power since 2002, came after his meeting with National Movement Party leader Dulat Bahja Lee, who on Tuesday proposed early elections instead of the 2019 deadline.
“Based on our discussion with Bahja Lee, we decided to hold the elections on June 24, 2018,” Erdogan said in a statement at the presidential palace after the meeting.
“Although the president and the government are working in harmony, the diseases of the old regime confront us in every step we take,” he said in a speech broadcast on state television.
“The developments in Syria and other regions have made it necessary for us to move to the new system as soon as possible so that we can build the future of our homeland in a stronger way,” he said.
The government had earlier ruled out a pre-election.
Last year, Erdogan won a popular referendum to amend the constitution and turn the country’s system of government into a presidential system. But the amendments will come into effect only after the presidential election.
The MHP is expected to enter into a coalition with Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) in parliamentary elections.
The constitutional amendments approved by the Turkish people in the referendum to abolish the post of prime minister, adding his powers to the President of the Republic.
The date of the election means that the Turks will vote in the elections under the provisions of the state of emergency imposed after the attempted coup in July 2016.
The leader of the “Good Party”, who was dismissed from the Nationalist Movement Party, said her party was “most prepared” for the elections and announced her candidacy for the presidency after collecting 100,000 signatures.
The opposition welcomed the president’s announcement of early elections as well. The spokesman of the Republican People’s Party, Bulent Tizcan, called for lifting the state of emergency, saying: “can not hold elections under the provisions of the state of emergency.”
But the Turkish parliament on Wednesday approved the government’s recommendation to extend the state of emergency in the country for another three months.