Photo from Ukrinform–UATV
Turkish President, Tayyip Erdogan, said on Wednesday that Turkey’s presidential and parliamentary elections will be brought forward to June 24, 2018, more than a year earlier than planned.
It was earlier scheduled to take place in November 2019.
Erdogan said that he made the decision after speaking to the head of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), Devlet Bahceli, who a day earlier had talked about the prospect of early polls.
“We discussed Mr. Bacheli’s proposal and decided to take a positive decision on the early elections … We decided to hold elections on June 24, 2018,” Erdogan said at a press conference.
He also noted that “that uncertainty is growing in the country after the 2016 coup attempt, and the transition to a new management system is becoming more and more important.”
According to Erdogan, developments in Syria and Iraq urge Turkey to take measures to eliminate political uncertainty.
The government had previously dismissed the prospect of early polls. Erdogan last year narrowly won a referendum to change the constitution and create an executive presidency. However, those extended powers are not due to take effect until after the presidential election.
Erdogan needs a 51 percent majority to be re-elected in the first round. Earlier this year, his conservative, Islamic, Justice and Development Party, agreed to form an alliance with Bahceli’s MHP.
Also, Turkey wants to prolong the state of emergency in the country for another three months. The emergency was first announced on July 20, 2016, after an unsuccessful coup attempt.